WATCH: The moment an Oxford player delays play after a foul and is booked in their FA Cup loss to Arsenal, leading to a spot-fixing inquiry after a flurry of bets .. and his three earlier ‘fouls’ that could ALSO have led to a yellow card
Oxford United defender Ciaron Brown escaped punishment for challenges on Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka and Takehiro Tomiyasu before the yellow card that prompted an FA spot-fixing investigation into suspicious betting patterns.
Sportsmail exclusively revealed that the FA have a dossier of evidence regarding supposed corruption, including alleged phone messages from before kick-off in Monday night’s FA Cup third round tie at the Kassam Stadium.
The messages claim that Brown would be booked in a betting scam that allegedly cost one bookmaker more than £1,600.
The FA are investigating allegations of spot-fixing by Oxford United’s Ciaron Brown (right)
Brown is alleged to have been deliberately booked in FA Cup third round clash with Arsenal
One message is understood to show a betting slip with around £200 staked on Brown being yellow-carded at odds of 8-1.
Brown, a 24-year-old Northern Ireland international defender, was booked in the 59th minute for a foul on Arsenal forward Eddie Nketiah and then delaying the restart.
But on two occasions just a few seconds apart in the first-half, Brown makes challenges that could also have led to a yellow card.
In the 25th minute, he first deliberately tries to pull back the shirt of Saka as the Arsenal man breaks away from him in midfield.
On two occasions a few seconds apart in the first-half, Brown escaped punishment for challenges on Bukayo Saka – in the first here, he deliberately pulls the Arsenal man’s shirt
A few seconds later, Brown beats Saka to the ball, but the Arsenal man tumbles to the ground
Play was ultimately halted so Saka could receive treatment but Brown wasn’t punished
Brown then wins the ball ahead of Saka further up the pitch but the England forward tumbles to the ground and remains down despite there appearing to be minimal contact.
Referee David Coote stops play so Saka can be treated but doesn’t penalise Brown.
Just prior to that, Brown appears to catch Arsenal right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu with his elbow during an aerial challenge for the ball.
It isn’t until the 59th-minute that Brown does receive his yellow card for a foul on Nketiah and delaying the restart.
Brown also appeared to catch Takehiro Tomiyasu with an elbow during an aerial challenge
Brown did eventually receive a yellow card for a foul on Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah and then delaying the resumption of the game
Brown received the booking in the 59th minute of the game Arsenal would win 3-0
The yellow card was brandished by David Coote after Brown threw the ball away
The score was still goalless at that stage but Arsenal would win 3-0 thanks to a strike from Mohamed Elneny and a double by Nketiah, setting up a fourth round trip to Manchester City.
It is unclear how many bets were placed on Brown being booked and the extent of other bookmakers’ liabilities, but the FA are taking the matter seriously.
Eyewitnesses at the game told Sportsmail they saw several Arsenal fans celebrating after Brown was booked, with several of them bragging about winning hundreds of pounds.
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