Leeds teen Jordan Stevens banned from football for six weeks | Football | Sport
Leeds United youngster Jordan Stevens has been banned for six-weeks by the Football Association for breaking betting rules.
The 19-year-old admitted placing 59 bets during the 2018/19 season, five of which involved matches with his current club.
The suspension will last until October 10 of this year, and also included a fine of £1200.
Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear revealed his disappointment at the extent of the punishment that has been handed out, and hit out at the FA.
He said: “”We are hugely disappointed in the FA’s 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.”
Stevens moved to Elland Road from Forest Green Rovers in February of last year and made his debut in a defeat to Stoke City the following January.
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has previously given his opinion of the player, which hints that he has a future as a regular first-team player.
He said: “He has all the skills needed to play in the attack, he has good quality and speed too.”
An independent commission has said that Stevens staked £510.12 on the bets, and also that he didn’t play in any of the fixtures that he bet on.
Leeds have given their official statement on the punishment, and defined it as “excessive” while offering the player their support.
They said: ”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 club’s staff is an excessive punishment.”