Leeds United furious with FA after Jordan Stevens ban – Teamtalk.com

Leeds United furious with FA after Jordan Stevens ban - Teamtalk.com

Leeds midfielder Jordan Stevens suspended for betting breaches

Leeds Jordan Stevens has been banned from all football-related activity for six weeks for breaking Football Association betting rules, a punishment his club has called “disproportionate”.

The midfielder, 19, admitted a charge of placing 59 bets last season, five on matches involving the Whites.

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“We are hugely disappointed in the FAs choice of sanction,” said Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear.

Leeds United chief executive Angus Kinnear commented: Whilst we fully recognise the importance of the FAs role in protecting the integrity of the game, we are hugely disappointed in the FAs choice of sanction.

“To prevent a young footballer from taking part in any football activities at such a 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.”

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, who was signed from Forest Green in February 2018, has made one first-team appearance since arriving at Elland Road.

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While an independent commission said the £510.12 total staked was “modest” – with Stevens not playing in any of the Leeds game he bet on – they said he showed a “wilful disregard for the rules” by continuing to bet after an FA education presentation, at which the rules were discussed.

We will support Jordan through this process, he is a young footballer who needs educating on the dangers of outside influences and how to conduct himself as a professional footballer.

Two of Stevens bets on Leeds – on both teams to score twice – were seen as the most serious, carrying a maximum “sporting sanction” of 12 months.

As a club we feel that banning a 19-year-old footballer from even participating in training or interacting with the clubs staff is an excessive punishment. 

A witness statement from Rob Price, head of performance and medicine at the club, said Stevens had “struggled to integrate himself” at Leeds, with emphasis on his difficulties with boredom, homesickness and anxiety.

“We will support Jordan through this process, he is a young footballer who needs educating on the dangers of outside influences and how to conduct himself as a professional footballer,” the club added.

“However, the single most serious aggravating feature of JS’ case is his knowledge and experience of the betting rules. On his own admission, JS was aware of the betting rules. Having received the FA presentation on 20th September 2018 JS continued to bet, indeed the vast majority of the bets were placed after this date.”

“As a club we feel that banning a 19-year-old footballer from even participating in training or interacting with the clubs staff is an excessive punishment.”

The FAs written report into the commissions findings said: “It is notable that three of the bets were placed on Leeds United to win and two were on both teams to score twice. We accept the FA’s submission that those five bets are the most serious aspect of the case.”

Leeds midfielder Jordan Stevens has been suspended from all footballing activity for six weeks after being found guilty of breaching FA betting regulations.

His age, inexperience and the influence of the gambling industry in football were also highlighted in his defence, but the commission pointed to his knowledge and what they regarded as a wilful disregard of the betting rules.

The charges alleged that Stevens placed 59 bets on football matches between August 6, 2018, and May 27, 2019.

The report stated: “Whilst JS is by definition an inexperienced young professional footballer, we cannot go so far as the written submissions on his behalf as to say that he is “extremely inexperienced”.

The 19-year-old, who made one Sky Bet Championship appearance for Leeds last season, admitted a misconduct charge in relation to the FAs Betting Rules and was also fined £1,200.

Stevens signed for Leeds from Forest Green Rovers in January 2018 and has under a year remaining on his current deal at Elland Road.

Twenty-three of his bets were on games in competitions contested by Leeds United last season, while five bets were on games involving his own club, but not games he himself played in.

He featured during pre-season for Marcelo Bielsas side but is yet to make an appearance for the Whites this season.

A statement from the club read: “We acknowledge the sanctions passed down by the FA to Jordan Stevens following a breach of betting regulations.

“We will support Jordan through this process, he is a young footballer who needs educating on the dangers of outside influences and how to conduct himself as a professional footballer.

“As a club we feel that banning a 19-year-old footballer from even participating in training or interacting with the clubs staff is an excessive punishment.”

Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear said: “Whilst we fully recognise the importance of the FAs role in protecting the integrity of the game, we are hugely disappointed in the FAs choice of sanction.

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