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Rooney outburst allows FA to show its teeth

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David Bond | 22:54 UK time, Monday, 4 April 2011

Even if Manchester United eventually succeed in any attempt to reduce Wayne Rooney's ban to one match, the Football Association will feel it has sent a message in taking such tough and swift action against the Manchester United player.

A message to the game's super-rich performers that it expects them to set a better example to the millions of youngsters who idolise them.

A message that it will not be afraid of reputations when it comes to cracking down on those who step out of line.

And a message to the politicians and other football leaders who have questioned the FA's lack of leadership.

The FA insists its disciplinary procedures are entirely independent, but Rooney's foul-mouthed outburst could not have come at a better time.

Last week, Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore tried to claim the game's moral high ground by announcing a new zero tolerance initiative on player behaviour.

wayne595.jpgRooney swore into a TV camera lens after completing his hat-trick. Photo: Getty

The move exposed the FA's perceived failings at a time when politicians are looking for reasons not to step in and regulate the game.

So who better to use as an example of their fast track justice system than the country's most high profile player?

Manchester United will be well aware of the wider political and reputational considerations for the FA and will no doubt rail against the injustice of it all.

But Rooney has left them without a leg to stand on.

Their best hope of ensuring Rooney doesn't miss the FA Cup semi-final against local rivals Manchester City may be in accepting the charge but arguing mitigating circumstances.

While keen not to use it as an excuse, one source close to the player claimed Rooney had faced vitriolic levels of abuse from West Ham fans at Upton Park on Saturday.

He also suggested the player was under extraordinary levels of pressure from the media.

That won't wash with many fans who help pay the wages of multi-millionaire players at a time when they are feeling the financial squeeze.

Scudamore suggested there had been a shift in public mood last week when he said the sport had to realise the time had come to work harder on standards of behaviour.

Despite all his problems on and off the pitch this season, Wayne Rooney remains English football's greatest asset. The FA's decision to ban him has provided another harsh reminder that he has a much wider responsibility to the game.


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  • Comment number 1.


  • Comment number 2.

    Anyone who says footballers can't swear at all is either a poor sheltered PC sap or trolling.

  • Comment number 3.

    Two match ban,what a laugh!
    The FA are just like any other governing bodies in Britain,toothless,or at best unable or unwilling to go the full mile.
    Minimum of a five match ban plus a hefty fine would do for starters applied to all within the game.

  • Comment number 4.

    The FA have a great habit of being strong on matters which require leniency, and absent when they need to be strong. A fine would have been appropriate here - missing matches for this is just ludicrous.

    The FA will never admit it, but they must feel this is their opportunity to do what they should have done after the assault on McCarthy...

  • Comment number 5.

    Will the FA go the whole hog and eject fans who swear or sing unsavoury chants, I wonder?

    As for the FA targeting the highest profile players to highlight their latest 'crackdown', how about a bit of consistency for once?

    Rooney gets a two match ban but lets see how many players get suspensions next week shall we? Ferdinand got a hefty ban for failing to show up for a drug test and yet a city youth player who FAILED a drug test gets a smaller suspension. Cantona got a huge fan for attacking a racist fan and yet Craig Bellamy punched a fan in the Manchester derby last year and didn't receive any punishment whatsoever.

    Making examples of high profile players is not the way to go. Enforcing laws equally and fairly is.

    ps - I'm not a United fan - I thought Rooney's celebration was very poor for such a 'role model'. A two match ban I think is a good step, so long as the same rules are applied week in, week out, to all players.

  • Comment number 6.

    I have a small amount of sympathy with Rooney. He's been brought up in an age were swearing has become the norm and part of the younger generations normal language. He's now 25 and trying to re educate a guy who probably isn't the brighter spark in the pool but very talented at football isn't easy. Ferguson probably isn't the best mentor as he probably swears at his players in training. The problem is that football has so many intrusive camera's now they will pick up swearing easily, on the radio there is a delay in transmission, I don't think its the answer but if the media doesn't want to broadcast his words maybe they would have to delay live transmission by 30 seconds!!!

  • Comment number 7.

    As ronalDOH says - farce. Once again the FA seem to be totally biased against
    United. Okay, I agree that he should not swear into a tv camera but why ban him ? The FA had their chance to act during the World Cup after a similar incident v Algeria but chose not to as it did not suit them / England's campaign. Now, of course, they want to be seen to be doing something. If I was Rooney I'd tell the FA that I was retiring from international duty. Respect ? They don't know the meaning of it.

  • Comment number 8.

    This is a joke. Walking from my house to work every day I cannot even count how many people swear and say things you can't even imagine- young and old, male and female. But people still like hiding behind their finger and use double standards while selectively pretending to be in a different planet or society.

    As such it's ok if a "comedian" or any kind of "artist" uses any swear words in public or on TV (because you know, they show that they are breaking away from political correctness and are becoming "true" artists) but people earning their salary in the environment with the most, worst and most widespread use of foul language get targeted for acting like their audience does. Additional double-standards apply if you belong to a high profile team of course (hello Rio's missed drug test versus City's nobody of a player who did the same thing a few days before him).

  • Comment number 9.

    Many Utd supporters have never forgiven him for asking for transfer,he has been barracked by the OT faithful for his poor form since agreeing to stay on at Utd(albiet with a massive pay rise),Add to this the scrutiny he is under by the press for the failings in his private life and you have a ticking timebomb that exploded on saturday.

    What the Utd apologists for his outburst dont seem to realise is that the expletives and anger was aimed at the travelling Utd supporters,if you dispute this then study his "celebrations" after his goals.

    He was lucky not to get sent off for the sly elbow on McCarthy and has hurled abuse at referees for a long time.

    Harry Redknapp is right in his article about players on hundreds of thousands of pounds in wages setting a better example and calling Wayne silly for his behaviour on saturday.

    I dont think 'Arry will be in SAF's goodbooks for speaking out but someone in the game(apart from Fergie)needs to discus Waynes anger problems.

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    #9. The same Harry Redknapp who got away scott-free with saying the F word three times in one interview to Rob Palmer of Sky when he was called a "wheely dealer". So for Harry to sit up there on his high horse and criticize Rooney is frankly embarrasing.

  • Comment number 12.

    The Premier League is simply a business that has abandoned sporting ideals. Its leaders aren't worthy custodians of our great game.

  • Comment number 13.

    2 match ban for swearing? Laughable. As one of the young people so often derided by the previous generation for swearing, the simple fact of the matter is that it's just words. We use strong language because we're still passionate and idealistic-our vocabularies reflect our heightened levels of investment. You can call it cracking down on indecent behavior or setting an example to the young, but the simple fact is that swear words are merely words we generally don't use so that they are stronger when we do. If scoring the hat-trick that might win your team the title isn't worthy of heightened language, what on earth is?

  • Comment number 14.

    Do the idiots at the FA really think making an example out of Rooney will deflect attention from the fact that they are utterly unfit for purpose?

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    The latest reports claim that the FA are relieved that Harry Redknapp has endorsed their response, commenting "Why is he so angry? I don't remember Bobby Charlton doing that when he scored or smashed one in from 30 yards, or Jimmy Greaves when he scored."

    That may be because Bobby Charlton didn't have to endure gross personal abuse. What might Charlton have done had the opposition support spent the game abusing Norma Charlton in a vile manner?

    The FA should demand respect but respect has to be mutual. In targeting Rooney for a brief three-word outburst they are attacking the symptom while ignoring the disease.

    Clearly as bastions of consistency and fairness they'll have to ban every player who swears on camera. Expect a long list of absentees as the pond-life in every crowd goad them beyond breaking point.

  • Comment number 17.

    Well, now the FA have set this precedent let's all hope for a crackdown on other forms of bad behaviour by these so called 'role-models'. An instant 1 match ban for any player caught spitting on camera ... 2 matches for that horrible nostril snot thing they sometimes do. Automatic 5 match ban for wearing over-sized brightly-coloured ties and light suits when doing a stint as a pundit. 3 match ban for wearing headphones around their neck while doing a post-match interview. 10 match ban for dating Danielle Lloyd. Let's start as we mean to go on!

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    Why is this word outlawed? Isn't the meaning one of
    Life's great past times? Rather he said this then other words
    Which seem to be accepted in our day to day vocab..but have far worst meaning...

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    It's odd that the actual footage didn't appear on Sky - in the match they cut away before he started speaking. Rather than tucking it away, reporting him or something ... they dug it put, bleeped it (poorly) and put it on their rolling news channel for 48hrs. What about Sky's responsibilities?

  • Comment number 22.

    Players are criticised constantly for not showing enough emotion or passion for their club and the sport..... I'm sure the opinions of a lot of football fans would have been different if his reaction followed a vital goal for England. The fact that there's more talk about a player saying a 'naughty word' rather than a player shooting someone sums up England perfectly. There was less talk about 'role models' and children when Drogba offered his opinions after their Champions League exit to Barca a few years back, which was far worse. If you're seriously offended by what Rooney did you're obviously not watching enough football, as far worse has been brushed aside in the past.

  • Comment number 23.

    I remember many incidents where many well published, extremely well educated, highly intellectual and always politically correct "personalities" have used foul language in front of a forgotten, switched on microphone. The top of the list belongs to the last Prime Minister during a popularity campaign, where he attempted to "reach" the poor constituencies of England. It involved a poor, old lady who dared to make some common-sense points to the unelected government chief. I would never compare the two incidents. One involves the Prime Minister and a voting citizen. The other involved a poorly grown up footballer, when he celebrated a goal and found two microphones and a camera at close range.

    To my surprise, not one person questioned what do cameramen and men carrying microphones want just outside the football pitch, during the match. Who is the one in SKY who asked for this "service" and why does the F.A. allow cameras and microphones (plural) and media crews carrying them on a football pitch, during a match?

    I am not expecting answers.
    When something stinks, stinking starts from the top, exactly like a rotten fish stinks from the head.

  • Comment number 24.

    Week in week out on MOTD we hear the old quote "you don't have to be a lip reader to work that one out." The players and managers responsible for these actions have never been punished even though they know they are constantly on camera. Will the F.A. punish such instances in the future?

    Getting inappropriate language out of football would mean having a referee in the centre circle with a couple of families of fans watching him for 90 minutes.

  • Comment number 25.

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  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    "That won't wash with many fans who help pay the wages of multi-millionaire players at a time when they are feeling the financial squeeze."

    Mr Bond... Mr David Bond, when you were paying a ticket to watch a football match, before you joined the BBC, were you doing that to help pay the wages of multi-millionaire players or to enjoy yourself? :)
    Thanks for putting it because it was the only thing that made me laugh loud in this stupid saga.

    "Despite all his problems on and off the pitch this season, Wayne Rooney remains English football's greatest asset. The FA's decision to ban him has provided another harsh reminder that he has a much wider responsibility to the game."

    Now, why am I laughing again? What responsibility is this that Rooney has to the game? Rooney's responsibilities are to the club that pays his wages and to himself, regarding his own aspirations in his life. What you refer to as a responsibility to the game, I'd rather suggest that it's a bonus the game is getting out of him, really.
    Or don't you agree? :)

  • Comment number 28.

    Suggest a certain way to deal with the growing manager/player disrepute issues is to combine the bans/fines with automatic league table points deductions...
    As ever, all these matters boil down,money,money...

  • Comment number 29.

    28, rob 237,

    excellent point!
    We might have seen Arsenal, West Ham or even Queens Park Rangers (who knows?) to win the Premiership title this season :)

  • Comment number 30.

    An absolutely ridiculously arbitrary decision. Where's the precedent? Where's "code of conduct" that makes it clear that this kind of behavior will earn this kind of punishment?

    I agree whole heartedly with those who make the point that this smacks of hypocrisy and double standards.

    It's interesting that it was Sir Alex who ridiculed Scudamore's proposals, and that it's a United player who's being punished.

  • Comment number 31.

    Although I dont particularly like Wayne Rooney as a person or role model (but fantastic player) it seems to me in context he will be unfairly treated because of who he is, and as mentioned above by others, lets see how many other players get the same treatment for a similar sort of thing - give it maybe a few weeks/month and these new "rules" will be forgotten, again this is just spin so it seems like they are doing something.
    Contrast this with the Leeds v Nottm Forest game where Chris Cohen gets a straight red card for appraently (I have not seen it but only read about it) a tackle that didnt injure the Leeds player, but the Leeds bench was up (subs/manager etc)
    trying to get Cohen sent off - was this not also part of Scudamores great plan that other players etc shouldnt try and get opposing team players sent off???? If i rememeber right! Ok, yeah of course forgot its not Man U/Chelsea/Many City/Liverpool etc, ie not high profile enough (by the way I am a Forest fan)

  • Comment number 32.

    What nonsense. Week in and week out we see players hurling obscenities at each other and at officials - it's not hard to lip-read - but because Rooney's outburst happened to be picked up by a microphone he's going to be banned for two games?

  • Comment number 33.

    29: Football_UK,

    Based on your assumption, Arsene Whinger's Arsenal would be around 14th in the table - come the end of the season.

  • Comment number 34.

    To me, swearing is only offensive if it's used in an aggressive or personal manner. Stewards at my club tend to let swearing go unless it's directed at a player or official in a sustained and aggressive way, then the steward will have a quiet word and remind you that there are children present. I agree with some previous posters that we have this strange way of grading how offensive a swear word is, that has nothing to do with it's actual meaning.
    Everyone has their own opinion of what is offensive, and many older people would consider the word that describes the mythical lake of fire that bad people go to when they die offensive. Not going to use it here because I know from past experience just how twitchy the moderators are!

  • Comment number 35.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 36.

    Leonard at # 10 - Interesting to see you questioning Rooney's intelligence when you can't string 2 sentences together without multiple spelling mistakes. I guess you are a genius! Ha Ha.

    Such a ludicrous decision, I guess FA stands for their intelligence level.

    It could only happen to United. For the writer to state "The FA insist their disciplinary procedures are entirely independent" without adding any opinion is just pathetic journalism. Awful.

  • Comment number 37.

    Anyone with half a brain cell more than Wayne himself can see this is just retaliation by FA due to the recent episodes with Sir Alex.

    Swearing is an everyday occurrence for people with less comprehensive vocabulary to express strong feelings or to emphasise something. Rooney is a grown man and can express himself as he wishes, such is the right of all free men and women.

  • Comment number 38.

    As for 'THE CHILDREN THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN'. I'm sure no parent has ever accidently said a naughty word in front of their spawn by accident. Of course not. The FA needs a serious reality check.

  • Comment number 39.

    "the time had come to work harder on standards of behaviour." ?

    what world are these people living on.

  • Comment number 40.

    #21 Two Wardrobes - I am pretty certain that here in Oz Fox Sports did not cut away and played the "outburst" live and unexpurgated. My first thought was "There'll be trouble for that"

  • Comment number 41.

    btw: erm.... hello... BBC.. yes BBC website operator person... can you get onto your coders to make the comment box bigger...

    "once every 180 seconds" .... now thats silly too.

    also, can you ask your journalists to write better articles.. they are all so lame.

    and... get the BBC News24 team to change their tone of voice...its rediculous...

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 43.

    There is no excuse for swearing on camera, none whatsoever, u may have passion, express it by doing a lap of the pitch or something if u hv to do something about it that much, roar do whatever, swearing is just juvenile! U may be in the heat of the moment, that doesnt excuse this type of behaviour, there are over 1 billion people watching this match and he is, like it or not a role model. People go on and on bwt fans swearing, they're not individually talked about in the media are they? Their private lives arent scrutinised in the media is it? Rooney is a popular footballer playing in the most popular league in the world, he has many children watching him and a billion other ppl worldwide, its his duty to be a model human being.

    I for one as a Man Utd supporter am glad hes been banned, its about time these footballers have felt the full force of the law, hopefully this constant crowding and harassment of the ref business and the shirt pulling in the penalty area will lead to the kind of punishment handed out to rooney.

  • Comment number 44.

    Interesting that Saint Harry draws comparisons between Rooney and Greaves.

    As a fan in my 60's this is my comparison:

    Rooney Greaves

    talented footballer talented footballer
    top goal-scorer top goal-scorer
    lteam player individualist
    works his socks off wouldn't track back
    energetic and enthusiatic wanted the ball on a plate
    England's most important player couldn't make Ramsey's 1966 team
    plays with his heart on his sleeve played with an ache in his head

    If the media of the 1960's had been as voracious and intrusive as it is today, then Jimmy Greaves would have been crucified and his reputation destroyed, given his lifestyle at the time.

    A few expletives would have been the least of his worries.

  • Comment number 45.

    Apologies for the layout of post 44.

    Hope this is better.

    Interesting that Saint Harry draws comparisons between Rooney and Greaves.

    As a fan in my 60's this is my comparison:

    Rooney.......... Greaves

    talented footballer.......... talented footballer
    top goal-scorer.......... top goal-scorer
    team player.......... individualist
    works his socks off.......... wouldn't track back
    energetic and enthusiatic.......... wanted the ball on a plate
    England's most important player .......... couldn't make Ramsey's 1966 team
    plays with his heart on his sleeve .......... played with an ache in his head

    If the media of the 1960's had been as voracious and intrusive as it is today, then Jimmy Greaves would have been crucified and his reputation destroyed, given his lifestyle at the time.

    A few expletives would have been the least of his worries.

  • Comment number 46.

    FA are (clinical) idiots.

    No passion = no football.

    And if somebody thinks footballers have to be role models for children - parents have to be role models not some (however popular) strangers.

  • Comment number 47.

    sadly the footballers are role models. I've only come to understand this as my 9 yr old son has become addicted to football, and constantly tells me its his dream. Given the pay packet they earn plus the high profile they get, it comes with a certain level of responsibility. They know this as its come before them. To whinge about it is just passing the buck. Just because they are good footballers and earn in a week what the average person would not earn in a decade does not excuse them nor should it put them above anyone else. I just a hope a 2 match ban is sufficient enough for Rooney to reflect on his yobbish behaviour. No-one is excepting him or the others to be saints, but common sense, yes.

  • Comment number 48.

    The FA seems to have lost touch with reality.
    Rediculous decision to ban Wayne Rooney for venting off.
    I thought his outburst was almost refreshing in a way, as it gave a glimpse of how a player was really feeling. Lay off the lad, and FA stop being so out of touch.

  • Comment number 49.

    As usual its one rule for everyone else and a much harsher rule for united.

  • Comment number 50.

    Was that the case with McCarthy then? Get real. Rooney is bad for the image of the game and needs to understand that, it it is not beyond him.

  • Comment number 51.

    This wasn't a case of a camera happening to catch him swearing on the pitch after a bad tackle - he ran up to the camera and deliberately swore directly into the lens, knowing that what he said would be transmitted live. He deserves his ban and he should act like a man for once and accept it. To say that he's just 'passionate' is an insult to every other player who doesn't do this. I find it amazing that football 'supporters' condone absolutely anything that a member of their beloved club might do. This isn't loyalty, it's stupidity. Don't forget Rooney showed exactly what he thought of all his fans last year when he threatened to leave until his exorbitant wages were pushed up even more. Look at his non-performances for England, his rants at the fans, his disinterest in many key games. A true star gives his best performances all the time, and I'm afraid Rooney is ridiculously overrated. Look at Messi, Pele, Giggs, Best, Zidane... these are true legends. Rooney is an overhyped also-ran. His manager sets the worst kind of example as well, but hey, as long as the money and the wins roll in, they can practically eat babies and everyone would still queue up to kiss their feet. Pathetic.

  • Comment number 52.

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  • Comment number 53.

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  • Comment number 54.

    Greatest asset to the English game; what a joke. How many times do you see Jonny Wilkinson/Chris Ashton and in fact any rugby player act like this goon when scoring tries in tense games. Ban him for 6 months. Over rated and over paid and when he packs in playing he won't live long in the memory for anything football related.

  • Comment number 55.

    Two words....PROFESSIONAL and £250,000 per week, would you behave yourself? Bad example for kids watching who idolise Mr money grabber and a x2 match ban is very lenient considering he has not long elbowed another professional player in the face and got away with it SCOT FREE. Lots of comments on here against the ban and almost justifying his actions... i wonder what team they support :) doesnt really say alot about their fans if they think its ok with what Rooney done.

  • Comment number 56.

    It's admirable that so many people are backing Rooney, on this post, however I do hope this is a step in the direction of aligning rules for all levels of the game.
    The amount of abuse professionals quite obviously dish out to officials, especially whilst on TV always makes me laugh.

    There's just no-way a referee at grassroots level would stand for that. Many of you may be shouting, "It's different in a working environment and that's why they get away with it", maybe so, but I'd argue that, it's more likely to be that professional footballers are generally thick, and can come up with no better way to convey themselves, than to shout profanity at every decision.
    The FA have an opportunity here to start a revolution in football, which hands out disciplinary action as our grassroots fa's do without a second thought.
    The days of double standards should be gone, forget the money, it only clouds the situation.

    Rooney or Joe Bloggs, when you walk on the pitch, everyone else on it and watching it deserves respect.

  • Comment number 57.

    2 match ban for swearing! What a good job that he didn't shoot anyone...

  • Comment number 58.

    zero tolerance - then why has Drogba not been charged for arguing with a fan?

  • Comment number 59.

    dont understand all the people saying that its not bad for players to swear as everyone does it etc. I (& im sure everone else on here) am not allowed to swear at work & I have to act in a professional manner at all times when representing my employers, so why shouldnt these people who do it in front of millions of people?

  • Comment number 60.

    Can I ask why MOTD showed this outburst? Surely the BBC editor could have chosen not to show it on TV at all - nobody could then have been offended?
    Come on BBC you share some blame here!

  • Comment number 61.

    Footballers are not actors and a football match is not scripted. Any parents that worry their children will hear the odd naughty word from their idols should probably not let them watch live games.

    While we are dishing out bans for misdemeanors, lets say a two match ban for spitters?

  • Comment number 62.

    I am an FA coach and as such abide by the rules and regulations of the FA and the RESPECT code of conduct. If I was to make use of such expletives then I would probably be removed from my post, and rightly so!

    These overpaid 'players' are supposed to be role models to our younger thanks!!!

    If he had used that languauge off the pitch towards another person(s) and was reported, he would be facing criminal charges of using foul and abusive language....what a crock!!!

  • Comment number 63.

    59. At 07:39am on 5th Apr 2011, villaox wrote:

    dont understand all the people saying that its not bad for players to swear as everyone does it etc. I (& im sure everone else on here) am not allowed to swear at work & I have to act in a professional manner at all times when representing my employers, so why shouldnt these people who do it in front of millions of people?

    Only in industries and positions people are repressed into behaving according to a social convention because they're scared of getting the sack or offending another drone.

  • Comment number 64.

    Rooney is a role model, like it or not. Anything he does on the pitch will be replicated across parks through out the country by kids playing Sunday league football. How would you feel if your 8 year old reacted in the same way after completing a hat trick?

    More respect needs to be shown, not only to the referees but to the game itself.

    Rugby & American Football, arguably two equally passionate and intense games, are controlled by strong and decisive governing bodies (RFU & NFL) where respect for the game, referees & sportsmanship is paramount. The referee has absolute control on the pitch and the full backing of their respective associations. If a player of one of these sports behaved the way footballers do they would be sent off in a heart beat.

    The lazy excuse of the atmosphere being emotional and players being under the media spot light is laughable. Part of the reason they receive such high wages is due to the demands of the game, on and off the pitch. NHL players cope and when they step out of line the are reprimanded.

    The FA needs to be stronger and more consistent and take a leaf out of the RFU & NFL's book. If the on pitch conduct improves the rest of the game will surly follow, it may take a while but eventually it'll happen.

  • Comment number 65.

    This seems to be a good precedence. Maybe at Glastonbury this year Bono will say Belgium on stage and be banned for a few gigs.

  • Comment number 66.

    The only surprise I have is that some Utd fans are surprised at the possible 2 match ban. You can trawl through the history books about the FA making an example of Man Utd players(Law..Best in the 60's)through to Eric and Scholes being banned for 3 games after a sending off in a pre season friendly.
    Go back further to the root of the anti Utd tirade by the FA...Man Utd players were in the forefront of the formation of the P.F.A. and I am convinced that Utd are still being held to account for this act.
    And of course Busby gave the authorities the 2 fingers when Utd,against the FA's wishes,entered the European Cup in 56,a year after Chelsea bowed down to the bullyboy's of the day.
    So Carragher nearly breaks Nani's leg and get's a yellow...Rooney say's a word that is heard in most walks of life and get's a 2 match ban.

  • Comment number 67.

    Anyone who's ever been to a football match know that swearing is something you just live with. It's not important, its just a part of language which some people are uncomfortable with. As for people complaining about children hearing I know 6 year olds who swear more then me, and its not Rooney's place to stop that. If a child is learning about life from a footballer obviously the parents aren't doing their job.

    If they have to punish Rooney, hand out a fine, give him a warning but a 2 match ban is just ludicrous.

  • Comment number 68.

    In 2008, Ferguson supported straight red cards for abusive language. If they ask for a ban reduction, Ferguson should be hit with a ban for lying.

    Talk the talk, now walk the walk.

  • Comment number 69.

    For Rooney to do what he did, just a few days after Scudamore had attempted to re-launch the 'Respect' campaign, meant that the FA had absolutely no choice to punish Rooney.

    Rooney may have scored a hat-trick at the weekend, but clearly he is still having problmes with his timing.

  • Comment number 70.

    The people who most bring the game in this country to disrepute is the FA, with their clearly self serving arrogance and incompetance.
    Recent decisions, with Sir Alex, Rio's position and now this show a clear anti Manchester Uniterd bias at the FA.
    Rooney, along with Rio for his own reasons, should as a consequence of this, decision, retire from international football with immeadiate effect. And United should withdraw from any FA organised event, including the FA cup, that they can legally do.

  • Comment number 71.

    I couldn't believe it watching Match of tha Day. The BBC knew exactly what they were doing showing him swearing. Any other player and you wouldn't have heard that. Not saying he shouldn't be punished, just I don't like the manipulative media at times. Linekar had to even make a point of drawing attention to it whilst staring into the camera. Pats on the backs all round!

  • Comment number 72.

    'In 2008, Ferguson supported straight red cards for abusive language. If they ask for a ban reduction, Ferguson should be hit with a ban for lying.

    Talk the talk, now walk the walk.'

    Did Fergie say it should be a 2 match ban at the time for such a red card offence?

    If so, you might have a point. If not,...well you know the score

  • Comment number 73.

    Of course footballers swear during games but in particular wayne rooney gets away with an astronomical amount of abuse directed at referees and the fact that he has actually had a chance to cool down after scoring that penalty, he has then thought about what he is going to do and then done it, it wasn't a reaction incident, he knew what he was doing and should therefore be banned, he has sworn directly at the camera and it is a disgrace.

  • Comment number 74.

    Rooney's antiques are certainly not commendable, but a 2 match ban for swearing at a very emotional moment? Come on! Oh I see, he's not setting a good example to kids. If kids pick up every word they hear on TV, may be their parents are not doing their job well.

  • Comment number 75.

    As a Man Utd fan i agree it is disgraceful that a professional of his calibre to do this, but in the heat of the moment the atmosphere at Upton Park had got the better of him. I can not list every footballer i have heard swear near the camera's and microphones on the touch line on live TV (not only Sky but also BBC) and will escape unpunished. I hear alot of this at a local team match where residents to the field can hear this. I believe the FA are using Rooney as a scapegoat, as he is such a high profile player, what if it was Parker or Noble, would it of been said that the team is fighting relegation and the high impact it will have over a team to stave that off to make it acceptable. I see alot of comments saying Man Utd are being treasted harshly, but in reality it happens to the teams that are setting the standards who receive the main flack (maybe this is a ploy to cover up John Terry's reinstatement of the England Captaincy where Rio phoned Terry but Fabio couldnt be bothered), and shows that Man Utd are the top of the list as they have dominated a leauge which is by a mile the worse premier leauge i have watched since it's opening season. All the FA have to do now, is the next player who swears in a game should be sent off with an automatic 2 game suspension, and does not matter if they play for Man Utd or Wolverhampton

  • Comment number 76.

    People swear in their workplaces all the time and although we might not like it we accept it. Football is no different in this respect, the difference here is the swearing was directed at customers not colleagues, and you wouldn't get away with that in any work environment.

  • Comment number 77.

    I think it would be naive in the extreme to surpose that this ban is for this incident alone. The guy has clearly been out of control for many months excused time and time again by club fans who don't want to lose their player and a media obsessed with his talent regardless of how sparingly it has been seen over the past year. Even now David Bond calls him "Englands greatest asset" which is just simply ludicrous considering how poor he has been for England for such a long time.

    There is absolutely no doubt he should have been red carded and subsequently banned for using an elbow against a fellow player. He escaped thanks to a notoriously weak referee, a manager who claimed "it was nothing" and an FA that was reluctant to punish an England player or was too dumb to realise it could act. To escape that and then be banned for swearing into a camera just shows you how ridiculous football has become.

    If this is the start of a crackdown on poor player behaviour then I think it is to be welcomed, but if it is a token gesture to serve as a warning (which is then rescinded on appeal) then the authorities will be shown once and again to be totally spineless and powerless to control the louts who sadly seem to dominate our national team presently.

  • Comment number 78.

    Sure, Rooney swore at the camera but it was the TV stations and press who broadcast it to millions.
    Many TV shows have "improper language" but that is accepted as "ARTISTIC"
    Double standards ?????????

  • Comment number 79.

    As usual its one rule for everyone else and a much harsher rule for united.
    This is the funniest comment I have ever seen on a blog.

  • Comment number 80.

    The issue is not whether Rooney was in the wrong in what he did - he was.

    The issue is not whether Rooney has broken the relevant law in the rules - he has.

    The issue is the FA not enforcing that rule at any other point in living memory, in spite of the fact that one can clearly lip-read (and hear if near enough to the pitch) exactly the same language being used - and often towards the referee/assistant.

    As such, it is hard not to see this as anything other than a targeted and selective application of a new initiative on a high profile player and club. If this influences either the title race or the FA Cup, there will be hell to pay.

    For what it is worth, I think Man United would be quite within their rights to withdraw from the FA Cup. Hit them where it hurts (the pocket) & don't play City..

    They won't, but how can the FA excuse this action while choosing to do nothing about Gerrard (the finger), Terry (lip-readers of the world unite!), Ashley Cole (air-gun), Balotelli (darts), Micah Richards (swearing in interview), Redknapp (ditto) - all during the very same season.

    All we're asking for from the FA is consistent application of the rules. This is not it. They ought to be stripped of their oversight of disciplinary matters, as they are becoming a joke. To gain respect, one must act in such a way as to merit it, rather than in the partial, media-driven fashion that the FA increasingly adopts.

  • Comment number 81.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 82.

    some of these united fans are proving that there are peopleout equally as simple and chav as Rooney.

    Swearing on live national tv at family viewing time is unacceptable. it cannot be compared to a comedian on after watershed, or what someone says in a pre-recorded interview that ends up on YouTube. this was not a slip of the Tongue by Rooney he knew exactly what he is doing when he approached the camera.

    I hope that things will change, the behaviour and attitude of a majority of football players together with all the gamesmanship has really put me off, from watching anything and everything football to only my team, it's quite sad really.

    I can't accept the line about pressure and pressure to perform. everyday life for normal people has much more pressure than finding a story in the paper that was your own making anyway, or being followed by paperazi because so uncontent with the couple of million they are paid to do a few hours work a week every year the sell themselves to hello or as the front of some corporation, and then wonder why they are being followed.

    it's a shame he cant take a leaf out of his team mates book giggs

  • Comment number 83.

    Some of the comments on this board are ridiculous, Rooney is being banned becuase he directed his swearing at a camera broadcasting live at lunchtime... if he swore in no ones general direction then there would be no ban. You cant get away with that kind of language specifically directed at that audience. Footballers swear like most sportsman but its how you do it that will get you in trouble, clearly he was out of line here whatever his motivations.

    Whether they like it or not footballers are seen as role models by youngsters and they need to behave acocrdingly, if they dont like it then quit the game and do something out of the public eye. Surely its a small price to pay to earn the sums they do. Other sportsman manage it in just as high pressure environments.

    He was wrong, he's rightly apologised, he needs to rightly accept the ban then not do it again!

  • Comment number 84.

    So, it's appropriate to shove a TV camera in front of a young, adrenaline-pumped man who's just single-handedly turned round an incredibly important game of top-level football, in the face of relentless and vile abuse from the opposition fans, doubt from his own fans about his quality and loyalty, and probably a certain degree of self-doubt as well.

    And yet we are supposed to assume that emotions won't be running high enough for him maybe to let out a swear word.

    The mind boggles sometimes, it really does.

    Still, I look forward to the FA's consistent application of its new bench-mark, and two-match bans for anyone else the camera picks up swearing. Will be interesting to see the entire Premier League, Championship and Football League fielding their reserve teams after a couple of weeks.

  • Comment number 85.

    This saga is a joke, two match ban for swearing! Fine if the FA keep up this zero tolerance then no one can argue, but do you really see the FA banning everyone for getting caught swearing...? I dont.

    Also #54 about your rugby players not acting like 'this goon', correct me if I am wrong but has Ben Foden - star on England's winning six nations team - not recently been arrested? Really setting a good example there! Total Hypocrite!

  • Comment number 86.

    This little episode just about sums footballers and their supporters up.. They way footballers and fans act at matches is an absolute disgrace. How people think it is acceptable to act this way with the millions of young children watching nevermind anyone else just about sums up the mentality of footballers and the people who go to watch theses games.
    I recently watched my 1st live football game(england v wales) with my young son and father in the family encloseure and to call the fans animals sitting behind us would be disrepectful to animals..
    The wonderful game... i do not think so, disgraceful game more like
    ps i apologise to the small minority of football fans who do find this behaviour unacceptable

  • Comment number 87.

    To be perfectly honest anyone complaining about their children swearing because a Footballer did it, should re-access their own parenting skills.

  • Comment number 88.

    So yet again, The FA make an example of someone from Utd. Had it been someone from stoke, for example, there would have been no media witch-hunt anfd no FA action.
    It's getting very silly now.
    It must really hurt that it doesn't stop them winning things.

  • Comment number 89.

    Well, this shows that even now : there's more publicity in banning a United player than a player from any other club. Thugs like Gerrard and Terry do this all match long and all season long with not even a reprimand, nevermind bans.

    Rooney got what he deserved for letting people know what he thought, as ever he lets his club down when he starts playing even just remotely well.

  • Comment number 90.


    are u serious???

    Rooney targeted the camera, yes there is plenty sweating between players and the ref but it isnot aimed at the audience, this clearly was.

    when have we seen a player run up and star shouting profanities? I can't.

    some utd fans seem to think they are immune from punishment, and when they do get reprimanded its a disgrace.

    utd and ferguson act like they own the perm league to complete disrespect to the other 19 teams. the club and the fans think they are above the law of the game and there is a delusion that they make the perm. Well if utd went bust tomorrow the perm league would still roll on.

    take your punishment, admit that Rooney is a disgusting premature ape who happens to be a good footballer and nothing more.

    It'd need to realise their club is one of the most illdisciplined in the league and if this problem gas to be sorted out it was always likely it would start with the worst offenders

  • Comment number 91.

    One match suspension will be fair and enough for Mr. Rooney. Trust. What he did, was wrong, and he said after match that he's sorry for what he did. I can fully understand his anger and frustration. But what he did was wrong, he has to learn how to behave on the pitch. I'm very sure that he's an exellent guy. ONE match PLEASE.
    Against city we need him!

  • Comment number 92.

    Can someone please enlighten me as to when the rules changed to allow a cameraman onto the pitch in the middle of a match.

    Rooney was stupid to swear, however, Sky are also to blame.

  • Comment number 93.

    'Rooney has left them without a leg to stand on' - rather like Carragher did to Nani and got a two match ban for - on, no, wait a minute, my memory is playing tricks on me, that was in the through looking glass world

  • Comment number 94.

    The FA have had plenty of opportunities in the past to impose punishment for such events but have simply been waiting for Rooney / United to do something before they decide to take action.

    Remember Gerrard's V sign to the Ref at Wigan last year??

    Absolute joke.

  • Comment number 95.

    I see the uber-brat has gotten away with another meaningless ban - the FA should have been tougher if they want their respect programme to have any teeth.

    Ferdinand twittering away about swearing at a football game is one thing, and I think most people at a game expect an amount of foul or bad-language.

    What he and Rooney are forgetting is that this does not mean you can swear at a camera (knowing full well it will be picked up and broadcast) and that the TV watching public should be treated to his command of the English language.

    His immediate and trite apology reminds me of a kid caught with his hands in the biscuit barrel. "Sorry, I didn't mean it" doesn't cut much ice with most people I'm afraid.

  • Comment number 96.

    I think the PFA should be lenient to Rooney's reaction towards the way he celebrated,it is hard to control especially when you score a hat trick in tense game like that one and more still from 2 Goals down.

  • Comment number 97.

    The FA should prepare themselves for an avalanche of "swearing incidents" to adjudicate come this Saturday. If they hand Rooney a ban then every single club and player that fall under the remit of the FA will need to take to the field of play wearing a gag. This incident and charge should not be particular to the EPL and if not then the FA will be hearing hundreds of similar charges every single week. Camera or no camera - if the FA deem it to be chargeable offence then it shouldn't matter where it takes place (down the lens of a camera - picked up by a radio mike or in the middle of the pitch). Can't wait for Saturday when the MOTD cameras catch players up and down the country swearing their way to an FA charge .

  • Comment number 98.

    I love the premier league and I have all my life, but what has the ridiculous F.A done here? No ban for an elbow to the jaw of James McCarthy but a ban for doing something most players do a dozen times a game. Maybe if the media weren't constantly on his back he wouldn't have swore to the camera, he was basically giving two fingers to every one who has criticized him and doubted he has the ability anymore. Despite his obvious lack of goals I honestly think he's been very good this season with obviously a few poor performances, but i'm pretty sure he has more goals than the likes of Drogba and Torres but neither receive 25% as much critiscism as Rooney. Oh wait he's English, and you English media think that makes him superhuman, pffffft

  • Comment number 99.

    I was at the stoke - chelsea game on Saturday. After the match, Drogba hurled disgisting abuse at us - I was there with my Grandad and 8 year old son. Drogba had to be physically prevented from assaulting a fan. No coverage of this at all in the media, all the focus on Rooney's reaction to having a camera shoved in his face. Oh, hang on, Drogba plays for Chelsea, Rooney for United. Fergie paranoid? I'd say Fergie has the media/FA bias spot on.

  • Comment number 100.

    I can't say I'm surprised.... the fact that David Bernstein is the new chairman of the FA and Wayne just happens to miss one of Man Citys most important games in recent history can't be a coincidence.

    Oh well, at least this "important" story has shifted the focus from the West Ham racism story... priorities?


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