No ruling because of translation issues

No ruling because of translation issues

Published Apr. 15, 2013 1:00 a.m. ET

Joey Barton's Twitter insults have been lost in translation.

The French Football Federation said Monday it can't rule on a disciplinary case against the Marseille midfielder over his insults toward Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva on Twitter because of a translation issue.

The 30-year-old Barton was summoned to appear at the FFF's ethics committee on Monday after calling Silva an ''overweight ladyboy'' in a series of attacks on the social network site earlier this month, before his club ordered him to stop and apologized to both PSG and Silva.

''We would need to make sure everyone agrees, both on the accusation and on the defendant's side, on an objective translation in order to make a decision on (Barton's) statements,'' Laurent Davenas, the committee's president, said Monday.


Barton did not attend the hearing at the FFF's Paris headquarters.

''I think it is always a pity when people who are suspected - rightly so or not - do not show up to give an explanation,'' Davenas said.

If both parties agree on a translation they could review the case again, Davenas said, but it was not clear whether another hearing will take place.

The case prompted interest as it was the first time in France that the FFF looked into insults made on a social network.

PSG branded the comments ''unacceptable'' and at the time threatened to take further action if Barton continued his tirade.

Barton was riled by sarcastic comments Silva had made earlier, alluding to the former Queens Park Rangers, Manchester City and Newcastle player's lack of achievements in football.

''There is even a Marseille player, I cannot remember his name, an Englishman, who has said bad things about Neymar and Brazilian football, and also about (David) Beckham and (Zlatan Ibrahimovic),'' Silva said in an interview with sports daily L'Equipe. ''As no one is talking about him, it seems fun to him to criticize great players for people to know he exists.''

Barton responded by tweeting that Silva was ''another over rated Brazilian. Sort your hamstrings out fat boy'' before then praising his excellent performance against Barcelona in a 2-2 draw in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal.