Joey Barton has been summoned by the French Football Federation’s ethics committee after the Marseilles midfielder called Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva an “overweight ladyboy” on Twitter. “Joey Barton has been summoned by the committee and will be heard on 15 April,” said Laurent Davenas, the committee chairman.
Barton, pictured, who has more than two million followers on the social media site, has been in a spat with Thiago Silva following disparaging comments he made about some of the Brazilian player’s international team-mates.
PSG threatened action against Barton on Wednesday after the Marseilles midfielder likened Thiago Silva to a transsexual on his Twitter feed. Barton’s remarks also drew condemnation from gay activists. Thiago Silva has not responded on Twitter.
Barton’s tweet made the front page of L’Equipe, which asked: “That is British humour?”
Marseilles yesterday issued a statement apologising on behalf of Barton. “Olympique Marseilles and Joey Barton wish to apologise to Thiago Silva and his club for the inappropriate comments the English player made on social media in the past 36 hours,” it said.
“Olympique Marseilles officials have asked Joey Barton to end the row between him and the Paris Brazilian defender. The OM midfielder has promised to end right now the publication of any invidious comments against Thiago Silva.”
Meanwhile, Uefa has yet to decide whether to punish Real Madrid after Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos appeared to deliberately seek yellow cards against Galatasaray in the Champions League quarter-final first leg on Wednesday in order to ensure they will be free for the semi-final.
In a Champions League group-stage game against Ajax in November 2010, the same players received second yellow cards so they would only be suspended for a meaningless group game against Auxerre, rather than a last-16 first-leg tie. The Real coach, Jose Mourinho, was banned for one game for improper conduct. He was also fined €40,000 (almost £34,000), reduced to €30,000 on appeal.
Alonso and Ramos were fined €20,000 each while Iker Casillas and Jerzy Dudek, who passed on the instructions, were fined €10,000 and €5,000 respectively. Real Madrid’s fine was reduced from €120,000 to €100,000 (£85,000) on appeal.