Thursday, 7 April 2011

Rooney Ban Upheld

Manchester United have expressed their disappointment at confirmation Wayne Rooney must serve a two-match ban for his four-letter reaction to scoring a hat-trick at West Ham on Saturday.However, the Red Devils are vowing to put the storm of controversy behind them in their Treble quest.The Football Association confirmed this morning that Rooney had failed in an effort to reduce a two-match suspension, meaning he will miss Saturday's Premier League encounter with Fulham, plus the FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City at Wembley on April 16.'Manchester United is clearly very disappointed with the decision,' said a statement issued by the Old Trafford outfit.'The club put forward a very strong case to have the punishment reduced, which was unsuccessful.'Wayne apologised immediately after the match and the club now wishes to move to on to what hopefully will be a very exciting conclusion to the season.'The FA opted not to release the outcome of Wednesday's disciplinary hearing immediately following a request by Manchester United, who did not wish to suffer any disruption to their preparation for last night's Champions League encounter with Chelsea when Rooney scored the only goal of the first leg encounter.

'A Regulatory Commission has suspended Manchester United's Wayne Rooney for two matches,' read a statement issued by the FA.

'Rooney had admitted a charge for the use of offensive, insulting and/or abusive language, but claimed that the automatic penalty of two games was clearly excessive.

'The Commission did not accept the claim and Rooney will begin the standard two-match suspension with immediate effect.

'The charge relates to an incident during his side's fixture with West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground (Upton Park) on Saturday 2 April 2011.'

At least Rooney will be eligible to play in the return leg against Chelsea at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

However, his absence is a blow to Ferguson, particularly for the City encounter given the 25-year-old's remarkable winner against them in February.

The FA will view it as a watershed moment for their hopes of improving player behaviour, whilst it is another blow to Rooney's image, even if sources close to the player have been anxious to distance confirmation of a sponsorship deal with Coca-Cola not being renewed last year with lurid allegations about his private life.

And United team-mate Rio Ferdinand has also rallied to Rooney's cause, insisting it is now time to call off the 'lynching' of his friend.

'We should follow him as a footballer rather than keep lynching him for a lot of the stuff that goes on,' he said.

'I wouldn't say he is innocent in a lot of the stuff that has happened but sometimes because of the player he is and who he is the reaction can be over the top.

'Wayne Rooney swearing on TV, as much as I don't condone it, is not front page news.

'There are bigger things going on in the world. There are things happening in Libya and Ivory Coast and we are talking about Wayne Rooney on the front page of newspapers because he swore at a camera.

'I don't condone it but because it is him everyone goes over the top.

'I don't feel sorry for him. He thrives off the attention.

'But he thrives off football attention rather than the stuff on the outside.

'He loves playing football. That's what he wants to be judged on and talked about.'

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