Leeds midfielder Jordan Stevens has been given a six-week ban and a £1,200 fine after being charged with misconduct by the Football Association in relation to its betting rules.
The 19-year-old admitted to placing 59 bets on football between August 2018 and May 2019 – five of those involved games in which Leeds played.
The ban is on all footballing activity which means Stevens is unable to train with Leeds during that period or interact with players or the coaching staff – a move the club has called “excessive” and a “disproportionate punishment”.
A statement released by the FA said: “Jordan Stevens has been suspended from all football and football related activity with immediate effect for a period of six weeks.
“The Leeds United player admitted a misconduct charge in relation to The FA’s Betting Rules. The midfielder was also fined £1,200.”
the ban is a ban on all footballing activity which means Stevens can't train with Leeds during that period or interact with the players or the coaching staff. That feels draconian, to say the least.
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) September 10, 2019
Leeds have reiterated their stance in supporting their player and chief executive Angus Kinnear expressed his disappointment at Stevens’ suspension.
“Whilst we fully recognise the importance of the FA’s role in protecting the integrity of the game, we are hugely disappointed in the FA’s choice of sanction,” said Kinnear, in a statement on the club’s website.
“To prevent a young footballer from taking part in any football activities at such critical period of his career is a disproportionate punishment following a foolish mistake from a young player.
“We are particularly disappointed that the sanction was determined by two former professional footballers who we hoped would have had a better understanding of the impact of their decision.”
Stevens joined Leeds from Forest Green in February 2018 and he has made one first-team appearance for the club.