Top 10 longest Premier League bans
OTP brings you the Premier League bad boys who have picked up the longest bans (minus drugs bans).
1. Eric Cantona – nine months
The powers-that-be determined that a kung-fu kick on a supporter was to be frowned upon, no matter how to despicable the individual in question happened to be. Cantona effectively lost a season from his already relatively short career.
2.Vinnie Jones – six months (suspended)
Football’s archetypal hardman was suspended for six months (suspended for three years) in 1992 for his voiceover on a video celebrating dangerous tackles.
3. Joey Barton – 12 matches
Fresh in. Barton picked up his ban for his end-of-season meltdown against Manchester City. The QPR skipper elbowed Carlos Tevez, kicked Kun Aguero and attempted to headbutt Vincent Kompany.
4. Paolo Di Canio – 11 matches
The then Sheffield Wednesday star was banned in September 1998 after pushing over referee Paul Alcock.
=5. David Prutton – 10 matches
In a similar incident to Di Canio, Southampton midfielder Prutton shoved referee Alan Wiley after being shown a red card against Arsenal in 2005.
=5. Luis Suarez – 10 matches
Joined Joey Barton with two entries in the top 10 after biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in April 2013.
7. Ben Thatcher – eight matches
The Manchester City defender – yes, that’s how far they’ve come – was suspended for a sickening elbow assault on Pedro Mendes, of Portsmouth, August 2006. The Portuguese midfielder was knocked out cold and suffered a seizure as a result of the challenge.
8. Luis Suarez – eight matches
The Liverpool striker was infamously ruled out for eight matches this season after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra.
9. David Batty – six matches
Another ref pusher. Batty was fortunate to have committed his shove on David Elleray before the outcry over the Di Canio incident. Newcastle midfielder Batty committed his offence after being sent-off against Blackburn in May 1998.
10. Joey Barton – six matches
A familiar face. Barton was banned for six matches (with a further six-match suspended ban) after admitting an assault on Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo.
11. Roy Keane – five matches (previously in top 10 in first version of this article)
Manchester United legend Keane was ruled out for five matches in 2002 for bringing the game into disrepute after admitting in his autobiography that a dangerous tackle on Manchester City midfielder Alf Inge Haaland the previous year had been pre-meditated. He had already been banned for three matches for the red card he received at the time.
*Updated following Luis Suarez’s 10-match ban in April 2013.