Granit Xhaka embroiled in investigation over Arsenal star’s suspicious booking against Leeds ‘involving Albanian MAFIA’

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THE investigation into Granit Xhaka’s suspicious booking against Leeds now involves an alleged criminal conspiracy including the Albanian mafia, according to reports.

Xhaka, 29, received a yellow card in the 86th minute of the Premier League clash at Elland Road in December 2021.

Granit Xhaka’s booking against Leeds in December prompted a National Crime Agency investigation
The midfielder took 20 seconds standing over the ball before Andre Marriner showed him the yellow
Getty
The yellow card raised suspicion after a series of huge bets were placed[/caption]

The Swiss midfielder took 20 seconds over a free-kick near the halfway line as the Gunners ticked down the clock leading 4-1 before referee Andre Marriner brandished the card.

A sixth-month inquiry by the FA prompted a National Crime Agency probe.

SunSport revealed a £65,000 bet was placed on Xhaka getting booked in the December 18 match, securing a £250,000 pay out.

Another wager is said to have had £52,000 on him picking up a yellow in the final ten minutes.

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And now the Daily Mail state further developments in the investigation have apparently “discovered evidence of significant sums being wagered in cryptocurrency in markets that are not regulated in this country” – with much of that said to be in Albania.

The National Crime Agency are also said to be checking out claims ex-footballer Alban Jusufi placed a big sum on Xhaka to be booked.

Swedish-Albanian Jusufi, 41, was given a five-year ban for match fixing by Swedish courts in 2017 after bribing AIK goalkeeper Kyriakos Stamatopoulos £150,000 to play badly in a derby against IFK Gothenburg.

There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by Xhaka.

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The midfielder represents Switzerland but has Albanian heritage – his older brother Taulant earned 31 caps for Albania’s senior national team.

Gunners-man Xhaka was fined £7,630 by Fifa for celebrating by using the Albanian eagle symbol across his chest as Switzerland beat Serbia at the 2018 World Cup.

SunSport has contacted Arsenal and the FA for comment – it is understood they are yet to receive an update from the team looking into the case.

Xhaka is expected to start for Arsenal tonight when they open the gruelling 2022-23 Premier League season away at Crystal Palace.

Xhaka looks set to be involved in Arsenal’s clash at Crystal PalaceGetty
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