Barton could face FA charge for Pedersen punch

Joey Barton could face charges from the Football Association after appearing to punch Morten Gamst Pedersen during Blackburn Rovers 2-1 victory over Newcastle United at St James’ Park last night.

Television pictures appear to show Newcastle midfielder Barton striking Pedersen in the ribs before the Norway international falls to the ground in pain.

The FA has confirmed that they have received referee Michael Jones’ match report and expect a statement on the incident later today. If retrospective action is taken, Barton could be banned for three games.

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce refrained from commenting directly on the incident after the match: ‘I'm not really going to talk about that because I don't want to detract from our victory. Whoever will see it will see it and do whatever needs to be done.’

Pedersen was equally reticent on the matter: ‘You saw the pictures. I don't want to speak much about it now.’

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