FORMER World Cup Final referee Howard Webb has accused Joey Barton of deliberately SCRATCHING an opponent’s face.
And the ex-top flight match official believes the disciplinary authorities could throw the book at the ex-Ranger and hit him with a lengthy ban if they take retrospective action.
The Burnley midfielder was involved in a few flashpoints moments as the Premier League outfit were dumped out of the FA Cup by non-league Lincoln City at Turf Moor at the weekend.

Bad boy Barton was booked after a second-half clash with Terry Hawkridge as the players came together following a challenge for the ball.
Once the furore had died down, the 34-year-old was yellow-carded by referee Graham Scott.
However, Webb, who watched a replay of the incident as a BT Sport analyst, spotted the controversial ace “putting his nails in the face” of the Lincoln player.
He said: “Joey just lost his discipline. There was a bit of a fracas and he put his hand out to Hawkridge.
“At first, it looked as though he had just brushed his hand across his face.
“But, when you see it again, he puts his nails into Hawkridge’s face.
“It’s really quite nasty and it should have been a red card.
“If Joey had gone on to score the winning goal, then it would have been a huge talking point.
“But maybe the FA will look at it again, anyway.
“It was difficult to spot. However, if the referee doesn’t mention any of that in his report, or says he has booked him for something else, then they might look at it again.
“And then he might end up getting suspended.”

Barton had earlier been involved with the his rivals’ giant striker Matt Rhead and appeared to stamp on his foot as they waited for a corner-kick to be taken.

He then immediately ran behind the player and apparently made contact with his hand.

The veteran then dropped to the ground in dramatic fashion while clutching his face. It appeared he was attempting to get Rhead sent off or cautioned, but no action was taken.

Ironically, the four years ago, Barton tweeted: “Players who roll around while no-one touches them should be subsequently banned.
“I hate cheats. Authorities should address it.”
After the Cup shocker, Barton again took to social media and said: “Wasn’t trying to get the Big Man sent off.
“Was trying to get back in front of him. Tried to duck under his arm and he moved it back and hit me on the head. Contact is part of the game, no problem with that.
“Unlike their player who said he was kicked on the floor and also the one who jumped and held his face as if he’d been struck.
“But that wouldn’t make a good story, would it? Fair play to Lincoln. Good luck to them in the next round.”
A last-minute headed goal from Sean Raggett gave the Imps a historic victory that ensured they became the first non-league club to reach the quarter-finals since Queens Park Rangers in 1914.

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