MLS Player Felipe Hernandez Suspended for Betting on Games
Fernando Leon/ISI Photos/Getty Images. Pictured: Felipe Hernandez (center).
Major League Soccer has suspended Sporting Kansas City midfielder Felipe Hernandez for the remainder of the season after a league investigation found that he gambled on two MLS games.
MLS said in a statement that Hernandez disclosed his gambling to Sporting Kansas City in July after he expressed concerns about his safety due to the debts he had incurred.
Sporting Kansas City’s head coach and sporting director Peter Vermes said in a press conference on Friday that Hernandez had “some threats coming his way.” Vermes said those issues have since been quelled but did not expand upon how.
The league then launched an investigation through a prominent New York City-based law firm, and the probe found that Hernandez illegally wagered on two MLS matches. Sporting Kansas City was not involved in either game, the league said in a statement.
“No evidence was found that Hernandez ever bet on an MLS match involving his own team,” the league said in a press release.
The league said there was no evidence that the midfielder had any confidential information regarding the two MLS games he placed wagers on.
MLS added in its statement that Hernandez made “extensive” wagers on other sports but did not specify which ones or how much in total he had wagered.
The probe also found no evidence that any other MLS player bet on any other league matches, though details of who was interviewed for the investigation, as well as how many people, were not disclosed.
Messages to two MLS officials that asked for clarity regarding these unknowns were not immediately returned on Friday night.
Hernandez will be eligible to apply for reinstatement on Jan. 1, 2022. Vermes said on Friday that he would “100%” welcome Hernandez back to the team should be eligible to return.
Hernandez released a statement on Friday via Twitter, noting that he has since sought help for his gambling addiction. Vermes said Hernandez had been sent to a treatment facility for sports gambling addictions shortly after self-disclosing.