Norwich City defender Leon Barnett admits FA charge
Norwich City defender Leon Barnett has admitted an FA charge of improper conduct for throwing the ball at the referee in Saturday's 2-0 home defeat to Portsmouth.
The Canaries' centre-back reacted to being shown a red card by referee Simon Hooper in injury time, having conceded a late penalty in the weekend loss – a dismissal that earned Barnett a one-match ban he will serve when City travel to Coventry on Saturday.
Having admitted the charge Barnett has asked for a personal hearing with the FA's disciplinary commission, which will be held on Wednesday, December 22 and could see his current ban added to. A fine could also be on the cards, depending on the commission's leniency.
Barnett had until 6pm on Tuesday to reply to the charge under the FA's fast-track disciplinary procedures.
The 25-year-old's rush of blood was included in Hooper's match report after the Wiltshire official brandished a second yellow card when Barnett hauled down David Nugent to concede a stoppage time penalty.
City's pending New Year signing then struck Hooper with the ball before leaving the pitch but apologised immediately to the official and Canaries' boss Paul Lambert following the 2-0 defeat for what he later described as an 'out of character' reaction.
Barnett acknowledged he had overstepped the mark on the club's official website within hours of Saturday's Championship reverse.
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'I went in straightaway after the game to the referee and the gaffer to say sorry for my actions,' he said. 'I knew immediately that what I did was wrong. What happened was out of character for me and I wanted to apologise for doing what I did.'
The former Luton man was already set to miss out on a return to another of his former loan clubs, Coventry, this weekend after a first half caution for an innocuous challenge on Dave Kitson which earned him a fifth yellow of the season.
Barnett's second booking for clipping Nugent in the incident that saw Greg Halford seal the points from the penalty spot effectively replaced his pending ban and leaves him on four yellows after this coming weekend – one away from another automatic suspension.
Barnett's fifth red card of his professional career at the weekend was a rare low point for the West Brom defender who has been a revelation at the heart of the Canaries' backline this season alongside Elliott Ward. City boss Lambert announced on the eve of Pompey's visit the club had agreed a three-and-a-half year permanent deal for the athletic defender which will be sealed in January.