In his first major interview since receiving an 18-month ban for breaching betting rules, Joey Barton claims Luis Suarez, John Terry and Eric Cantona all escaped more lightly at the hands of the Football Association.
The 34-year-old midfielder was suspended in April after admitting an FA misconduct charge and received a £30,000 fine for placing 1,260 bets, including on matches his team was involved in, over a 10-year period.
Barton was released by Burnley at the end of the season and it remains to be seen if he will play professionally again.
The outspoken former Manchester City captain, who has regularly courted controversy on and off the field, remains adamant his punishment is disproportionate.
“Luis Suarez racially insults Patrice Evra. He bites a player. John Terry [charged with racially abusing Anton Ferdinand in 2012]. Eight and 10 games for Suarez. Four for Terry. That’s 22 in total. For Cantona’s kung-fu kick, it’s nine months, say 48 games,” Barton, who has stated his intention to appeal against the ban, said in an interview with The Sunday Times.
“I’m getting all that in one hit. I’ve basically kung-fu-ed a fan, racially abused two players and bitten another in one go – and more – in FA eyes. For doing a football coupon.”