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FOOTBALL

Barton gets two-match ban for ‘ladyboy’ tweet

English midfielder Joey Barton was handed a suspended two-game ban by the National Ethics Commission (CNE) on Monday in relation to a string of insults he directed at Paris Saint-Germain's Thiago Silva last month via Twitter.

Barton gets two-match ban for 'ladyboy' tweet
Photo: Michael Kjaer

Joey Barton, who plays for Marseille in Ligue 1, faces a suspended two-game ban over his controversial Twitter insults directed towards Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva, one month after the French football ethics committee had said it was unable to rule on the matter because of uncertainty over the translation of his remarks.

English midfielder Barton had taken to his @Joey7Barton account to launch a tirade against Silva in which he called the Brazil centre-back a "pussy" and "a overweight ladyboy".

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 then passed onto the CNE. PSG immediately issued a statement saying Barton's comments were "unacceptable". 

French football's ethics committee had previously said it was unable to rule on Barton's comments because they had been made in English and not French.

However his club said he had now been punished: "The National Ethics Commission has given Joey Barton a suspended two-match ban for 'incorrect sentiments' in his tweets aimed at the PSG player."

The club had sent a lawyer to the CNE meeting earlier in the day. It had previously met in mid-April when it said it was unable to judge the case.

Marseille said only the CNE could decide to remove the suspension of the ban and not the French Football League. 

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SPORT

French government: All athletes must be vaccinated to compete in France

All athletes and sports professionals who wish to compete in France will have to be vaccinated against Covid-19, government sources told AFP on Monday.

Unvaccinated tennis star Novak Djokovic
Unvaccinated tennis star Novak Djokovic. Photo: Oscar del Polzo/AFP

The French parliament has just given the go-ahead for the health pass to be converted into a vaccine pass, which means that anyone wishing to enter leisure and cultural venues – including sports grounds and stadiums – will have to be vaccinated.

This goes for the crowd, but also professional sports players and staff. The government has indicated that exemptions will not be made athletes who are based outside France.

The ministry said a new vaccine pass, “applies to everyone, to volunteers and to elite sportspeople, including those coming from abroad, until further notice.”

READ ALSO What changes when France’s health pass becomes a vaccine pass

Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu said last week that certain events like the French Open could have a special exemption, when asked whether Novak Djokovic could play in the tournament, but this appears now to not be the case.

Questions had been asked about whether the unvaccinated Djokivic – recently deported from Australia – would be able to play in the French Open in May, but the ruling would affect all visiting sports professionals, including rugby teams from England, Ireland and Italy who are due to play in France during the Six Nations tournament in February and March.

Until now a health pass has been sufficient to enter sports grounds, which means unvaccinated players and fans were able to use a negative Covid test.

However once the vaccine pass enters into effect – scheduled to be later this week – only proof of vaccination will be affected.

French domestic sports teams were given the choice of either making sure that all their players and staff were fully vaccinated or playing behind closed doors.

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