LEEDS UNITED have hit back at the FA after Jordan Stevens was given a six-week ban from all football for breaking rules on betting.
Stevens placed 59 bets over the course of last season, which cost him a total of £510.12.
He bet on five games involving Leeds although he did not play in any of them.
The 19-year-old, originally from Gloucester, claimed to have been suffering from homesickness and explained that his friends back home were involved in betting.
But having been charged back in August, he was still slapped with a hefty £1,200 fine and a ban that will see him unable to play until October 10.
United staff said during the investigation that Stevens had struggled to fit in at Leeds and chief exectuive Angus Kinnear was 'hugely disappointed' with the punishment.
Kinnear 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."
The ban from 'all footballing activities' not only means Stevens cannot add to his singular Leeds appearance but he is not even allowed to train.
The club have insisted they will stand by the winger but will not be appealing the charge.
A Leeds statement 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. "
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