Burnley’s Joey Barton has been banned from football for 18 months.
The midfielder received the sanction after admitting a FA charge in relation to betting.
Via his website, Barton claimed that, “[The FA’s] decision effectively forces me into early retirement,”
“I accept that I broke the rules governing professional footballers, but I do feel the penalty if heavier than it might be for other less controversial players.
“I have fought addiction to gambling and provided the FA with a medical report about my problem,” Barton continued. “I’m continued that that wasn’t take into proper consideration.
“If the FA is truly serious about tackling the culture of gambling in football, it needs to look at its own dependence on the gambling companies, their role in football and in sports broadcasting, rather than just blaming the players who place a bet."
In addition to the ban, Barton received a £30,000 fine and was warned about his future conduct.
The charges against Barton related to his having placed 1,260 bets on matches between 26th March 2006 and 13th May 2016 – players in the top eight flights of English football are forbidden from betting on the sport.
Barton – who won his sole England cap in 2007 – signed with Burnley for a second time in January. He’d previously played for Rangers where he’d received a one-match ban for breaking Scottish Football Association gambling rules. The suspension might have been longer had Barton not confessed to placing 44 bets on matches between 1st July and 15th September 2016 during his stint with the Scottish club.
Barton is expected to appeal the length of the FA ban.