Club statement: Jordan Stevens

Jordan Stevens placed bet two days after FA gambling rules presentation

Jordan Stevens placed bet two days after FA gambling rules presentation

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 19-year-old admitted placing 59 bets during the 2018/19 season, five of which involved matches with his current club.

Stevens, who made his debut for Leeds in their 2-1 defeat to Stoke City earlier this year, will now be forced to refrain from any footballing activity for six weeks.

The player confirmed he knew he was "not permitted to bet on football under the FA rules" and had attended an education presentation at Leeds on September 20 at which the betting regulations were discussed.

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.

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 Commission notes that JS was starting to train with the experienced professionals of the first team at Leeds United and occasionally featuring in the first team squad".

"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".

The Commission added: "In our judgement, on the particular facts of this case, that can only be achieved by an immediate sporting sanction and a financial penalty".

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. The decision is subject to any appeal.

"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", Kinnear told his club's official site.

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

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