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Barton included in Marseille squad

04 Apr 2013 21:17:15

Barton included in Marseille squad

Joey Barton has been included in Marseille's squad to meet Bordeaux on Friday, despite the latest controversy to envelop his career.

Barton has created a stir in France after labelling Paris St Germain defender Thiago Silva an "overweight ladyboy" on his Twitter page. The accusations have prompted strong condemnation from PSG as well as a prominent anti-homophobia group based in the French capital.

Reports in France have also claimed that Barton has been summonsed to explain his actions at a French Football Federation's ethics committee hearing on April 15.

Barton wrote a series of Twitter messages on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, in which he went as far as questioning whether Silva was "pre-op or post-op".

Marseille responded with a statement revealing they had demanded Barton cease his attack on Silva as well as offering an apology from both the club and player.

Despite that, OM appear willing to let the 30-year-old midfielder, who is on a season-long loan from QPR, remain a part of their bid to cut a seven-point gap behind Ligue 1 leaders PSG.

Coach Elie Baup has said Barton remained a key part of his squad and remained true to his word when naming a 17-man list for Friday night's match at the Stade Velodrome.

Barton could even return to the starting line-up after fellow midfielder Mathieu Valbuena was ruled out for 10-12 days with an adductor injury.

"What is important to me is the communication from the club," Baup said at the pre-match press conference. "I am the coach of OM and I have to intervene (only) on larger matters. The communication of individual players is their own responsibility.

"I have a boss and a direction. Barton holds an important place in the team and I make decisions in the game - for example, that he (Barton) did not start against Nice (last weekend). That is my responsibility. Beyond that, it does not concern me."


PA

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