Barton's English ban to apply in France

Barton was given a $117,000 fine by the English Football Association in addition to a 12-match ban.

Story highlights

  • QPR's Joey Barton must serve the remainder of his 12-game ban in France
  • The 30-year-old is ineligible to play in Marseille's domestic matches
  • English midfielder can play for his new loan club in European competition
  • Controversial figure has put violent past behind him to build big Twitter audience

English footballer Joey Barton will have to wait until November to make his Ligue 1 debut for Marseille after the French League confirmed he must serve the remainder of his 12-game ban.

Barton was handed the lengthy suspension by the English Football Association after he was red-carded in Queens Park Rangers' final Premier League match of last season at Manchester City.

After training with English lower league side Fleetwood Town, Barton was then left behind as QPR toured Malaysia during preseason, and he completed a season-long loan move to Marseille before the August transfer window closed.

"Upon the transfer of Joey Barton from Queens Park Rangers to Olympique Marseille, the English Football Association transmitted to the French Football Federation the disciplinary sanction he was subject to in the English league," said a French League statement.

"In accordance with article 12 of FIFA's Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players, the sanction is applicable in France."

However the suspension only relates to Marseille's league and cup games, allowing Barton to play in the club's Europa League campaign, which kicks off with a trip to Turkish club Fenerbahce on September 20.

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Controversial Barton handed 12-match ban for Man City antics

The confirmation of the ban means the 30-year-old midfielder will have to wait until November 17 to make his Ligue 1 debut when Marseille travel to Bordeaux.

Barton, who has a long history of controversy, is seen as a risky acquisition for Marseille.

"We wouldn't have taken this player," Lyon club president Jean-Michel Aulas told Canal Plus after his signing was completed.

"We wouldn't have taken such a risk. We have some guidelines inside the club, partners, and things we can't afford."

In May's EPL finale, Barton was sent off for elbowing Carlos Tevez, then kicking the striker's fellow Argentine Sergio Aguero before appearing to aim a headbutt at City captain Vincent Kompany.

He was also given a $117,000 fine by the Football Association in addition to his lengthy ban.

It was the latest in a long line of Barton's misdemeanors.

He was sentenced to six months in prison while a Newcastle United player for an assault in Liverpool city center and later transfer-listed by the club after criticizing its hierarchy on Twitter.

Prior to that, at Manchester City, he was fined for stubbing a cigar out in the eye of a youth team player and, in a separate incident, was sent home from a tour of Thailand after an altercation with a 15-year-old Everton fan.

Despite that violent past, Barton has carved out a reputation as one of football's more cerebral thinkers, building up a Twitter audience of 1.7 million followers thanks to his musings on philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and lyrics from songs of The Smiths.

He also has his own website, where he has written about his excitement in starting a new career in France.

"I already feel like a kid debuting again, I literally cannot wait. I hope my countrymen and women will be cheering me on and have a new interest in Olympique de Marseille," Barton said.

"My core driver to break from the Prem is to fall in love with the game again, I said it when Fleetwood was on the cards. Reducing the ban was always complete nonsense from the media, Mark Hughes and I never saw it that way since I'd have to serve the ban somewhere and sometime, it's not going anywhere unfortunately. It's common sense."

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