London: Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton has been hit by a 12-match ban for indulging in violent behaviour during the team’s final match of the Premier League season against Manchester City on May 13.
Barton received an automatic four-match ban for the initial elbow on strike Carlos Tevez that led to his sending-off, but the punishment was increased on Wednesday by eight matches for two counts of violent conduct, firstly for kicking Sergio Aguero and then an attempted head butt on Vincent Kompany
QPR has already launched its own internal investigation into Barton’s violent behaviour, as he received the most severe punishment for an on-field incident in England since Eric Cantona’s kung-fu kick on a Crystal Palace fan in 1995.
Barton attended Tuesday’s Wembley hearing with his lawyer Mel Stein and could still appeal against the sanction.
The wacky midfielder had accepted the first count of violent conduct in relation to the Agüero kick but had denied the same charge for the Kompany head butt incident.
“There are rules of conduct that should be adhered to, and such behaviour tarnishes the image of football in this country, particularly as this match was the pinnacle of the domestic season and watched by millions around the globe,” The Telegraph quoted the chairman of the three-man independent regulatory commission that investigated the case, as saying.
“This eight-match suspension is to run consecutively to the four-game suspension Barton was already given for his dismissal in the fixture, making a total of 12 matches,” said an FA statement.
As Barton had already been sent off, the two incidents that resulted in violent conduct charges fell outside the jurisdiction of the referee.