Joey Barton retracts Gervinho cheat claim after ugly clash between Newcastle and Arsenal
Posted by Foxsports.com.au @ 2011-08-15 23:39:34
Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton has tried to talk himself out of hot water with the English Football Association after labelling Arsenal striker Gervinho a cheat on Twitter following their ugly clash in Sunday's match.
The Gunners forward saw red during a 0-0 draw at St James' Park, with his dismissal providing the main talking point in an otherwise forgettable encounter.
Gervinho clashed with Barton after tumbling inside the area and seeing the Newcastle man attempt to haul him to his feet.
A slap from Gervinho saw Barton slump to the ground and Arsenal's Ivorian forward was sent from the field.
"What do people want me to do, stand and trade blows with Gervinho. If u raise ur hands to players faces, u should be off. Ref got it right," Barton initially Tweeted after the match.
"Hate CHEATS that dive to win pens. If theres contact go down but dont blatantly try to con the ref. Refs have it hard enough.
"I was merely helping him regain his obviously dodgy balance." (sic)
Barton also appeared to be stamped on by Arsenal's Alex Song during the game, although referee Peter Walton admitted he didn't see the incident.
Walton will present his report on the melee on Monday, with the FA to decide whether any retrospective action will be taken.
In an attempt to placate the governing body Barton has since retracted his cheat accusation on BBC Radio 5 Live, conceding there was some contact between Gervinho and teammate Cheik Tiote.
He does not believe it was enough to warrant a penalty though, and claimed he would be "embarrassed" if one of Newcastle's players did the same thing.
Barton also admitted he had milked the slap but defended his actions despite acknowledging they were slightly hypocritical.
"I can't take responsibility for what Gervinho did. I did go down easily, I've been hit harder by people at school, but that's not to make what he did right. He raised his hands, we all know the rules about that. I have made a meal of it.
"I pulled him from the floor because I felt he was trying to cheat me, my team-mates and my football club out of a point - a point that could be massive for us at the end of the season.
"He's actually struck me in the face, and my issue is, if I don't go down, and it's clear the officials didn't see what went on exactly.
"If I don't go down and he doesn't get sent off, I'm making my own team suffer."
This story appeared on skysports.com.