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Controversial Barton handed 12-match ban for Man City antics

updated 6:32 PM EDT, Wed May 23, 2012
QPR midfielder Joey Barton (c) is surrounded by Manchester City players after kicking out at striker Sergio Aguero
QPR midfielder Joey Barton (c) is surrounded by Manchester City players after kicking out at striker Sergio Aguero
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • QPR midfielder Joey Barton is banned for 12 matches by English Football Association
  • Barton was sent off on the final day of the Premier League season against Manchester City
  • The 29-year-old then kneed Sergio Aguero and appeared to headbutt Vincent Kompany
  • Barton's ban means he won't be able to play for QPR again until November

(CNN) -- Joey Barton, one of the most controversial footballers in the English Premier League, has been hit with a 12-match ban by the Football Association (FA).

The Queens Park Rangers midfielder, who has 1.5 million followers on micro-blogging site Twitter, was found guilty of two charges of violent conduct during a tumultuous clash with Manchester City earlier this month.

Barton was sent off for elbowing Argentina striker Carlos Tevez, then kicked Tevez's compatriot Sergio Aguero before appearing to aim a headbutt at City captain Vincent Kompany.

The 29-year-old attended an FA hearing at Wembley on Wednesday where he was given a £75,000 ($117,000) fine in addition to his lengthy ban.

Manchester City win Premier League as Barton sees red

In a statement on their official website the FA confirmed Barton would receive an initial four match ban for his dismissal and eight more games for his two further offenses.

The FA said: "There are rules of conduct that should be adhered to, and such behavior tarnishes the image of football in this country, particularly as this match was the pinnacle of the domestic season and watched by millions around the globe."

Such behavior tarnishes the image of football in this country
FA statement

Barton's regular rants on Twitter, interspersed with quotes from philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and lyrics from songs of The Smiths, have gained him a huge following.

He often tweets about visits to art galleries and his take on modern culture, and he's also been interviewed on UK political shows such as Newsnight.

Barton's indiscretions at Manchester City are the latest in a long line of misdemeanors in what has been a checkered career to date.

He was sentenced to six months in prison while a Newcastle United player for an assault in Liverpool city center and later transfer listed by the club after criticizing the hierarchy on Twitter.

Prior to that, at Manchester City, he was fined for stubbing a cigar out in the eye of a youth team player and in a separate incident, was sent home from a tour of Thailand after an altercation with a 15-year-old Everton fan.

After his red card at City he took to Twitter to try and explain his actions, stating: "The head was never gone at any stage, once I'd been sent off, one of our players suggested I should try to take 1 of theirs with me."

His 12-match ban puts his future at QPR in doubt, the team having retained their Premier League status on the final day of the season despite his red card.

A Rangers spokesman said: "QPR will be making no comment in regard to the Joey Barton case. An internal investigation will begin in due course."

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