England’s Football Association Cracks Down on Players Breaking Betting Rules

  • Everton FC defender Yerry Mina got a £10,000 fine and a warning
  • Mina appeared in a gambling ad in his native Colombia, breaching FA rules
  • Leeds United FC midfielder Jordan Stevens made 59 game bets, five involved his own team
  • Stevens was fined £1,200 and got a six-week playing ban for his actions
soccer player in stadium
The FA has taken disciplinary action against soccer players Yerry Mina and Jordan Stevens, who were found guilty of breaching FA gambling rules. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

No-nonsense approach

Recently the English Football Association (FA) has been placing great focus on cracking down on players who break betting rules. This week, it found Yerry Mina and Jordan Stevens, two prominent players in English soccer, guilty of breaching FA gambling rules.

There have been a number of high-profile incidents in recent years. Notable current and former players that have been punished by the FA over gambling rules breaches include Joey Barton, Paul Scholes, and Daniel Sturridge.

Everton defender avoids ban

Everton FC defender Yerry Mina received a £10,000 ($12,300) fine and a warning for his future conduct. The 24-year-old Colombia native admitted to a misconduct charge, but has avoided a playing ban. 

a £10,000 ($12,300) fine and a warning for his conduct in the future

The charges in question relate to Mina appearing in a gambling advertisement for Betjuego back in his native country at the start of 2019.

Reasons for leniency

While many thought Mina would get a significant ban, a number of factors wound up in his favor. The FA outlined the reasons for its decision in a statement, where it said it factored in that Mina did not profit from the creation of this advert.

Instead, the defender donated his fee to the Yerry Mina Foundation, which he set up in 2016. The charity helps young, disadvantaged people in his home place in Colombia. 

Mina did not profit from the creation of this advert

Mina pleaded guilty to the charges, apologized immediately, and requested that the advertisement be taken down after he discovered he was breaching FA rules. He ceased all dealings with the company in question in May.

The FA took decided to only give the soccer player a fine and a warning. 

Ban for Leeds United midfielder

Jordan Stevens, a 19-year-old midfielder for Leeds United FC, was discovered to have made a bet only two days after seeing an FA presentation on gambling rules in soccer. 

banned from all soccer-related activity for six weeks, in addition to being fined £1,200

As a result, the FA charged him with misconduct relating to its gambling regulations. He has been banned from all soccer-related activity for six weeks, in addition to being fined £1,200 ($1,500).

Stevens subsequently admitted to making 59 bets on soccer games in a between August 2018 and May 2019. Five of these bets were in fixtures involving Leeds United. Stevens joined the club in January 2018, which means he was playing with the club at the time of these bets.

A hearing of the Independent Regulatory Commission took place on August 30 in relation to this issue. The findings revealed how Stevens opened an account with Sky Bet on August 6 and began betting straight away. 

Player admits guilt

The Leeds United player admitted that he is “not permitted to bet on football under the FA rules,” and that he was present at the educational presentation. Stevens claimed that a lot of his friends from his home town of Gloucester were heavily into betting and were influencing him to get involved. 

The total sum staked through his 59 bets was £510.12, with 23 of the games being competitions that his club was involved in. Stevens was not part of the matchday squad for the five games he bet on when Leeds were playing.

There was no evidence of impact on the Leeds games Stevens bet on. However, the FA said this “inevitably raises a concern and a perception to the public that may be adverse to the integrity of the game.”