Club Focus – Manchester United – Rooney faces FA charge for swearing

In a statement released yesterday, The FA announced that they will charge Wayne Rooney for his goal celebration after he scored his and United’s third goal in Saturday afternoon’s victory over West Ham.

While in the aftermath of the game the focus should be on Rooney’s hat-trick during a fantastic United comeback at Upton Park, it is instead firmly on the United No 10’s reaction to scoring the penalty that gave his team the lead. Rooney looked down the camera and amongst a series of “what” said a single expletive as he was about to run back for the restart.

Rooney swiftly issued an official apology later in the day, declaring his actions to be “in the heat of the moment” and “not intended at anyone in particular”. However this has not been enough to stop The FA charging Rooney for his behaviour after FA director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking stated on Sunday that the case would be looked into.

It’s not the first time a player has been captured swearing on television, but it is the first such occasion when a player has done it directly into the camera and with no precedent set, the FA could take action similar to that of a referee – who are allowed to give players a straight red card for foul and abusive language, and give Rooney a three-match ban.

A three-match ban would see him miss the FA Cup Semi-Final clash against Manchester City in two weeks time, and would be a huge blow to the team with Rooney having found his scoring touch again in recent weeks.

FA rules do make a provision for punishment with the following guidelines: “A participant shall at all times act in the best interests of the game and shall not act in any manner which is improper or brings the game into disrepute or use any one, or a combination of, violent conduct, serious foul play, threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting words or behaviour.”

The hat-trick on Saturday has taken Rooney’s league goal tally to 10 for the season from 22 games and gives the striker a much healthier looking goals to games ratio than a few months ago. The 25-year-old had a poor first-half against West Ham that some will argue was down to the formation, but this didn’t dictate Rooney’s inability to control the ball or dropping too deep. There was a feeling he could be withdrawn

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