Andrew Couldridge / Reuters
Wayne Shaw’s attempt at humour has tailspinned into a bizarre controversy as the Sutton United ‘keeper finds himself under investigation by the United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission.
The 45-year-old was observed enjoying a pie as his side trailed Arsenal 2-0 in the FA Cup on Monday, revealing after the match that he wanted to provide a bit of “banter” after learning about a betting line, offered by Sun Bet, involving the stunt being played out on television during the match.
However, news broke Tuesday that Shaw is being investigated by the country’s Gambling Commission as the regulatory body searches for any irregular betting before the stunt took place.
Related – Look: Sutton’s Wayne Shaw visits bar at half-time, eats pie on touchline
“Integrity in sport is not a joke and we have opened an investigation to establish exactly what happened,” Gambling Commission enforcement and intelligence director Richard Watson said, according to the Jack de Menezes of the Independent.
“As part of that we’ll be looking into any irregularity in the betting market and establishing whether the operator has met its licence requirement to conduct its business with integrity.”
According to Rob Harris of the Associated Press, the Football Association has also announced that it will open an investigation to determine if there was a breach of its rules relating to betting during the incident.
It’s believed that some punters received five-figure payouts after Sun Bet offered 8-1 odds if Shaw ate a pie on television while on the sidelines during the match.
After Sutton completed its third and final substitution of the game, Shaw explained that he went to the kitchen to pick himself up a meat and potato pie in the final minutes of the encounter.
“A few of the lads said to me earlier on what is going on with the 8-1 (bet) about eating a pie,” he said. “I said I don’t know, I have eaten nothing all day. So I might give it a go later on.
“As I say what is that, Sun Bet had us at 8-1 to eat a pie. I thought I would give them a bit of banter and do it. All the subs were on and we were 2-0 down.”