Barthez appeals six-month ban for spitting

13th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 13 (AFP) - Marseille goalkeeper Fabien Barthez has had a three month ban for spitting on a Moroccan referee in a friendly match in Casablanca in February doubled.

PARIS, May 13 (AFP) - Marseille goalkeeper Fabien Barthez has had a three month ban for spitting on a Moroccan referee in a friendly match in Casablanca in February doubled.  

The French federation had appealed against its own disciplinary commission's decision not to ban the former Manchester United shot-stopper for the mandatory six months.  

The ban now runs to October 15. He was also ordered to carry out community service work.  

It was feared a six-month ban could force Barthez, who has already said he will retire after the 2006 World Cup, to bring forward his retirement plans.  

The 33-year-old goalkeeper who has won 73 caps for France is now ruled out of France's World Cup qualifiers against Ireland and Switzerland in September.  

The player's lawyer, Philippe Pech de Laclause, accused the federation of giving in to pressure from French sports minister Jean-Francois Lamour.  

He said there was nothing in the Federation rules suggesting a six month ban for the offence was automatic.  

"This sanction is unacceptable. I've just spoken to Fabien and he is immensely disappointed," he said.  

"It was clear the commission didn't take into account the hostility prevailing in that match."  

The case isn't over yet though as Barthez has appealed to the French National and Olympic Sports Committee which administers all sport in France.  

That body could overrule the football federation.  

A hearing is set for May 20. 

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article