Joey Barton appears to have escaped punishment over his online comments about Paris St Germain defender Thiago Silva after the French Football Federation's ethics council determined that no ruling could be made in the case.
The on-loan Marseille midfielder provoked a storm when he used the social networking site Twitter to brand Silva an "overweight ladyboy" earlier this month. The FFF's National Council of Ethics summoned him to a hearing which took place on Monday, but it ended with no ruling being made in the case.
"The council has not been able to judge this case," CNE president Laurent Davenas said in comments reported by L'Equipe. "There could be problems interpreting statements made in English."
Davenas added: "Furthermore, we have not received any conclusions made by lawyers on Friday night at the FFF. The members of the commission did not have sufficient time.
"This case also raises particular legal issues. Is Twitter a space for public communication?"
Barton, 30, is currently on loan from QPR and has claimed he will be staying with the French club next season, although both clubs have denied any deal is in place.