Barton banned for 18 months

Burnley midfielder Joey Barton said he had effectively been forced into "early retirement" after being banned for 18 months over betting offences by England's Football Association yesterday.

Barton, 34, admitted a charge relating to 1,260 bets he placed on football matches over a 10-year period between 2006 and 2016. He blamed his addiction to gambling, saying he would appeal against the length of the ban.

"This is not match-fixing and at no point in any of this is my integrity in question," said Barton, who has also been fined £30,000 (S$53,514). - AFP