Man Utd's Wayne Rooney accepts FA charge but not ban

Wayne Rooney
Rooney is facing a two-match ban for swearing into a TV camera on Saturday

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has accepted a Football Association charge for using offensive language, but not the automatic two-match ban.

The 25-year-old swore into a pitchside camera after completing his hat-trick in Saturday's 4-2 win at West Ham.

He is set to miss the league game against Fulham and the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City.

But Rooney has submitted a claim, which will be heard on Wednesday, that the suspension is "clearly excessive".

The England star's submission will be heard by an FA disciplinary commission, although the verdict is not expected to be made public until Thursday, out of respect for United's preparations for Wednesday's Champions League clash at Chelsea.

The former Everton striker could risk having his ban increased to three matches if his appeal is deemed to be frivolous, which would also rule him out of the league game at Newcastle United on 19 April.

But Professional Footballers' Association deputy chief executive John Bramhall does not believe that scenario is likely.

"If he is unsuccessful in his appeal the commission could look on the case as not being truly exceptional," said Bramhall.

"But from my experience, the circumstances surrounding his case are unprecedented and therefore you would say it was truly exceptional."

Manchester United currently top the Premier League by seven points, although second-placed Arsenal have a game in hand.

Rooney will be available for Wednesday night's Champions League quarter-final with Chelsea if he recovers from a shin injury but manager Sir Alex Ferguson made it clear he did not want to discuss the matter at Tuesday's press conference.

"I have nothing to say. I am not going to discuss it at all," he said. "We have submitted our case."

Rooney quickly apologised for his actions after the victory over West Ham, a game in which he was influential in earning the three points for the Red Devils as he hit three goals in 14 minutes to help his side recover from 2-0 down.

In a statement released by United on Saturday, the striker said: "I want to apologise for any offence that may have been caused by my goal celebration, especially any parents or children that were watching.

"Emotions were running high, and on reflection my heat-of-the-moment reaction was inappropriate. It was not aimed at anyone in particular."

The FA's decision has been questioned by Professional Footballers' Association chief Gordon Taylor.

In a statement issued on the PFA website, Taylor said: "Whilst the use of foul and abusive language is not condoned, there is an acceptance by all parties within the game that 'industrial language' is commonly used.

"It becomes an issue when directed towards match officials. However, when used in a spontaneous way in celebration or frustration then it is not normally expected to merit a sanction.

"If sanctions are to be imposed in such circumstances then this has to be done in a balanced and consistent manner, and participants made aware of this fundamental change in approach."

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