Joey Barton has slammed to Football Association (FA) for stopping him being involved in a charity football match supporting the victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster.
At least 80 people died when fire took hold of the tower block in Kensington, west London on June 14, with insulating cladding blamed for helping the flames leap up the walls.
Hundreds were inside the building during the tragic and shocking incident and many survivors found themselves without a home.
In response to the tragedy, Queens Park Rangers will host a charity football match, which will see famous stars compete in a ‘Game4Grenfell’.
Alan Shearer, Trevor Sinclair and David Seaman are among the former pros signed up to the community event at Loftus Road – which is located one mile from the Grenfell Tower – on September 2, which will also feature a host of celebrities and other special guests.
But Barton, who spent time at QPR between 2011 and 2015, has been told he’s unable to participate due to a suspension he’s currently serving due to gambling.
The former Manchester City and Burnley midfielder was banned in April for breaching betting regulations and has seen the original ban reduced by almost five months to expire on June 1, 2018.
And the FA have decided to uphold the ban even for a charity match – something Barton slammed on social media.
— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) July 28, 2017
The 34-year-old posted a picture of an email he’d received with organisers of the ‘Game4Grenfell’, along with the caption: ‘@FA have decided my ban extends to helping a great cause. So unfortunately, unless someone engages their brain, I won’t make it.’
The email read: ‘Thank you so much for your generous offer to play in the GAME4GRENFELL.
‘Unfortunately, the game is to be an FA sanctioned game, and to that end they have informed me that you will not be allowed to play in it due to your current ban.
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‘I just wanted to say that I am personally very sad about this and I am also incredibly grateful to you for the generous offer of your time – particularly on your birthday.
‘I am truly sorry this hasn’t worked out as I was really looking forward to having you there. It would also be great if we could keep this confidential as the match hasn’t launched yet.’
Tickets for the match will be priced £15 for adults and £5 concessions with money raised passed directly to the London Community Foundation for allocation to the Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund, distributing funds to survivors and the wider community affected by the fire.