Barton’s abusive tweets lost in French translation

Barton's abusive tweets lost in French translation
Photo: Michael Kjaer
What is the best way to translate "pussy" and "ladyboy" into French? Football authorities in France have been unable to agree so decided they could not rule whether footballer Joey Barton's abusive tweets were worthy of punishment.

French football's ethics committee said on Monday it was unable to make a ruling on Marseille midfielder Joey Barton's controversial Twitter insults directed towards Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva because of uncertainty over the translation of his remarks.

Barton had called Silva a "pussy" and an "overweight ladyboy" in a Twitter tirade at the start of the month.

"We took a decision, which is to say to the federation that we cannot judge the case in this state," explained National Ethics Commission (CNE) president Laurent Davenas.

"That doesn't mean he won't be sanctioned if the French Football Federation seize upon it. Then (the case) will return to us.

"But first everyone will have to agree, both those accusing and the defence, on an objective translation to qualify his comments.

"If it had been in French, we wouldn't have needed to reach an agreement," added Davenas.

Paris Foot Gay, an amateur club with a large number of gay players who campaign against homophobia in football and society as a whole, had complained to France's Professional Football League (LFP) after Barton's Twitter posts.

The matter was subsequently passed on to the CNE, who have the power to hand the Englishman a suspension for remarks that have been taken very seriously in France.

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