Dabo claims 'coward' Barton lied about pair's fight

The 35-year-old former France international pressed assault charges against his former team-mate back in 2007 and refutes his claim that he instigated the incident

Ex-Manchester City midfielder Ousmane Dabo has slammed his former team-mate Joey Barton, claiming that he has lied about what happened during their training ground clash five years ago.

The pair came to blows in May 2007, which led to Dabo being hospitalised for having a detached retina among other head injuries and pressing assault charges against Barton - for which the new Marseille man was handed a suspended four-month sentence.

However, since then, Barton has told of a different version of events, stating that he was merely acting in self-defence as Dabo instigated the incident – a claim the 35-year-old vehemently disagrees with.

"He lied about what happened on training ground of Manchester City, it's amazing. It shocked me," Dabo told L'Equipe.

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"There was a civil trial, he pleaded guilty and got a four month suspended sentence. When he speaks, he denies he said that I am the initiator.

"This is false. All team members who were present during the assault testified in my favour at the trial."

The controversial midfielder has since moved to Dabo's native France on a season-long loan spell from QPR and Dabo didn't hold back when asked about the 30-year-old's character.

He added: "He says he is a man, a bad boy, but he is a coward. I don’t want to restore my truth, but the truth.

"Do not be mistaken about Barton, he is taking care of his communication. This is not the first time he does so.

"When he puts a knee to Aguero [during the last day of last season], he does it from behind. I don’t call him a man."