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English FA take action

Joey Barton hit with 18-month ban for betting

Former Rangers midfielder Joey Barton has been banned from football for 18 months by the English FA after admitting a betting charge.

The 34-year-old Burnley player was charged with breaking FA rules after placing 1,260 bets on matches between 26 March 2006 and 13 May 2016.

Players in England’s top eight tiers are banned from betting on football.

Barton has been fined £30,000 and warned about his future conduct after an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing.

He plans to appeal against the length of the suspension.

An FA statement read: “Joey Barton has been suspended from football and all football activity for 18 months with immediate effect after he admitted an FA misconduct charge in relation to betting.

“It was alleged that between 26 March 2006 and 13 May 2016, he placed 1,260 bets on the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in, football matches or competitions in breach of FA Rule E8.

“Following the Independent Regulatory Commission hearing, the Burnley midfielder was also fined £30,000 and warned as to his future conduct.”

The former Manchester City and Newcastle star rejoined Burnley in January, having left Ibrox in November. That month he was given a one-match ban for breaking Scottish Football Association rules on gambling.

Barton admitted the Scottish FA charge of placing 44 bets between 1 July and 15 September 2016, while signed for Rangers.

Barton responded to the FA’s sanctions by saying: “I am very disappointed at the harshness of the sanction.

“The decision effectively forces me into an early retirement from playing football. To be clear from the outset here this is not match fixing and at no point in any of this is my integrity in question.

“I accept that I broke the rules governing professional footballers, but I do feel the penalty is heavier than it might be for other less controversial players.

“I have decided I will be appealing against the length of the ban. I hope that I shall be afforded a fair hearing by an independent Appeal Panel.”

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