ENGLAND (REUTERS) - Burnley midfielder Joey Barton's 18-month ban from football was the "shortest possible sanction" for his betting offences, the English Football Association (FA) has said.
Barton, who was charged with placing 1,260 bets on football matches or competitions from March 2006 to May 2016, said that he will appeal the length of the ban as it "effectively forces me into an early retirement".
"The Commission accepts he had a gambling addiction, and that may have played a part in his continued betting," the FA explained in its written reasons.
"However, it is not a complete answer for it, nor for his attitude to the rules. It demonstrates some element of control and conscious decision-making, and disregard for and disrespect of the rules."
"The shortest possible sanction to reflect the totality of his betting breaches was a suspension from football and footballing activity for a period of 18 months."
Burnley manager Sean Dyche has called the ban harsh, and said Barton would not be offered a new contract at the Premier League club.