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Thursday, September 6, 2012
Barton ban upheld at OM

ESPN staff

Joey Barton will serve the remaining nine games of his 12-match ban in France after joining Marseille on a one-year loan from Queens Park Rangers, the French league (LFP) have confirmed.

Barton, 30, arrived at the Stade Velodrome last week, but will now have to wait until mid-November to make his Ligue 1 debut, as the English FA's lengthy domestic suspension after getting sent off for QPR was upheld by their French counterparts.

The midfielder was dismissed on the final day of the 2011-12 Premier League season for elbowing Manchester City's Carlos Tevez and then kicked Sergio Aguero. He also appeared to try and headbutt City captain Vincent Kompany.

"When Joey Barton was transferred from Queens Park Rangers to Olympique Marseille, the FA relayed the sanction taken against him to the French soccer federation," the LFP said in statement.

"According to FIFA rules... the player, who has already served three games, has been suspended for the next nine matches in the French competitions."

Despite his inability to play domestically for a further two months, Barton is available for selection in European competition, which would allow him to appear for Marseille in their Europa League opener against Fenerbahce on September 20.

The former Manchester City and Newcastle United player will miss eight Ligue 1 matches and one League Cup match and will be eligible to face Bordeaux in Marseille's November 18 league fixture.

Barton's arrival has caused much excitement among his team-mates, who cannot wait to play alongside the controversial midfielder.

"Everyone is waiting to see him play. We know his qualities, his aggressiveness, his ability to get the ball into feet. He is still a good player. I think he can bring us a lot," Marseille winger Andre Ayew said.

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