Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

QPR must decide over Barton appeal

Joey Barton (right)

Queen's Park Rangers must decide on Tuesday whether or not to appeal Joey Barton's red card to the Football Association, who could yet take disciplinary action themselves against the club for post-match comments.

Barton had given Rangers an early lead at Loftus Road on Monday, before then getting involved in a tussle with Bradley Johnson, and appearing to headbutt the Norwich midfielder.

Initially, play had continued before eventually referee Neil Swarbrick consulted his assistant on the near side, and then produced a red card. Norwich went on to win through goals from Anthony Pilkington and Steve Morison, which leaves QPR just above the relegation zone.

In his post-match press conference, Rangers manager Warnock claimed he held little hope of lodging a successful appeal against what is set to be a three-match ban for violent conduct.

The west London club have to state their intentions to the governing body by the next working day after a match, and then also present supporting evidence ahead of a disciplinary hearing, which would convene and make a decision ahead of the weekend's FA Cup third round tie at MK Dons.

Television footage from the game initially proved inconclusive, with no real close-ups because of the position of cameras at the antiquated west London venue - although what is clear from the long-range pictures is Barton does clash with first Norwich defender Zak Whitbread and then Johnson in the centre circle ahead of directly squaring up to the Canaries midfielder.

Warnock branded Johnson a "disgrace" for his perceived over-reaction, while Barton immediately took to Twitter to launch an impassioned defence against what he viewed as a "ridiculous decision", claiming the officials had been "conned".

Barton added: "Why don't they copy rugby and cite incidents instead of taking a blind stab at decisions? Theres too much money involved for guesswork.

"Respect the officials campaigns am all for it, think our officials get a hard time of it but respect is a 2 way thing. Hopefully its rescinded and although its frustrating for our club, justice will albeit far too late prevail."

It is understood the FA are to review QPR's post-match comments from manager and captain before deciding whether any action needs to be taken.

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