The former Lincoln defender Bradley Wood has been banned for six years over the two match-fixing offences.
A Football Association tribunal ruled Wood “influenced a football betting market” by earning two yellow cards in action for Lincoln in matches against Ipswich and Burnley.
Wood denied the two most severe charges, but was found to have committed 25 betting-related breaches in all – and as a result was banned until March 8, 2024.
The 26-year-old has been fined £3,725 and ordered to pay costs of £1,550, over bookings in Lincoln's January 17, 2017 clash with Ipswich and the February 18, 2017 encounter with Burnley.
That FA Cup captured the public imagination before the Imps lost 5-0 to Arsenal in the quarter-finals. Two people known to Wood placed bets on both matches that online gambling firms noticed were “atypical in the context of the caution betting market”, according to the FA's written judgement.
“The gravamen of the case against Mr Wood is that he planned to be cautioned, told personal acquaintances of that plan so that they and others to whom the information was passed placed bets,” read the FA's written judgement.
“The data supplied by betting organisations has revealed what is said to be unusual bets being placed on Mr Wood being cautioned in both matches. Two of those placing the bets are said to have close personal involvement with Mr Wood.
“It is said that the bets were atypical in the context of the caution betting market, and in relation to the betting history of those placing the bets. The potential winnings (some were not paid) totalled approximately £10,000.”
The FA's written judgement concluded Wood “influenced a football betting market by intentionally seeking to be cautioned by the match referee”.
Lincoln have revealed they were informed about the investigation in April 2017, then suspending Wood for the final two weeks of his contract and releasing him in May.
Chief executive Liam Scully admitted Lincoln were stunned by the initial allegations.
“This football club takes its own integrity, and the integrity of football as whole, extremely seriously so were shocked and saddened to be informed of the allegations,” said Scully, in a statement issued by Lincoln.
Bradley Wood of Lincoln City in action during The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round match against Burnley (Image: Getty Images Europe)
“We acted quickly when we were first informed and have, at the request of the FA and for the sake of Bradley Wood, kept the allegations private until the matter was resolved.
“We wholeheartedly condemn any behaviour which could tarnish the reputation of football as a sport and have given the FA our complete support in conducting the investigation.
“It is important to note, however, that these charges relate to the individual actions of a single player and it is accepted by everyone that they played no part in the results of games.
“We are relieved the matter has now been brought to a conclusion.”
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