Reserve keeper resigns after eating meat pie at FA Cup game

Lights illuminate the pitch ahead of the English FA Cup fifth round soccer match between Arsenal and Sutton United at Gander Green Lane stadium in London, Monday, Feb. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

LONDON — A backup goalkeeper paid the price for eating a meat pie during his team's landmark game against Arsenal, resigning from Sutton United as authorities launched investigations into the apparent betting stunt.

A British newspaper's betting company, which sponsored Sutton United for Monday's FA Cup game, had 8-1 odds that overweight reserve goalkeeper Wayne Shaw would eat a meat pie.

After Sutton used all of its substitutions and there was no chance Shaw would appear in the 2-0 loss to Arsenal, he munched on the pie while sitting on the bench.

"Wayne has offered his resignation to the chairman this afternoon and that has been accepted," Sutton manager Paul Doswell told Sky News. "It's a very sad end to what was a very good story."

The footage of Shaw eating was broadcast on the BBC.

"I thought I would give them (the betting company) a bit of banter and let's do it," Shaw told British media.

But the stunt caught the attention of the body that regulates commercial gambling in Britain and the English Football Association, who are investigating the incident.

It soured the biggest match in non-league Sutton's 118-year history, and the south London club acted quickly against Shaw.

"Wayne has become this global superstar on the back of being 23 stone (322 pounds)," Doswell said. "He's made that a chance to make some more media coverage off the back of it. I don't think it shows us in the best light."

English FA rules prohibit players from betting on any "occurrence" in a match, although this incident did not take place on the field. There is no indication Shaw financially benefited himself.

Richard Watson, the Gambling Commission's enforcement and intelligence director, said it was investigating the incident because "integrity in sport is not a joke."

"As part of that we'll be looking into any irregularity in the betting market and establishing whether the operator has met its license requirement to conduct its business with integrity," Watson said.

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