Wayne Rooney awaits FA decision over foul-mouthed rant

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The Independent Online

Wayne Rooney will today learn if he faces any sanction for his foul-mouthed goal celebration in Manchester United's 4-2 Barclays Premier League win at West Ham.

Football Association director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking confirmed footage of Rooney swearing directly into a television camera at Upton Park was set to be examined.

England striker Rooney issued a formal apology for his outburst, which he claimed came "in the heat of the moment" after he completed a match-turning hat-trick and insisted "was not aimed at anyone in particular".

But the FA have still looked into the matter, which could see the 25-year-old punished.

Brooking told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme a decision will be made today.

And Brooking added: "It was a surprise, after scoring a hat-trick, to react that way.

"It is something we will have to look at."

Rooney could be warned, which appears the most likely outcome if the FA do take action, but there is also the possibility of a suspension.

A one-match ban would rule him out of Saturday's home game with Fulham, with a two-match suspension sidelining him for the following weekend's Manchester derby FA Cup semi-final.

It is understood sanctioning a player for swearing into a camera may be unprecedented in English football.

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba was famously handed a three-match ban - with a further two matches suspended - by UEFA for a similar offence during the 2009 Champions League semi-final against Barcelona but his tirade was deemed to have been directed at the referee.

There does appear to be provision for punishment in the FA's own rules about behaviour, which state: "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."

Saturday's lunchtime game was beamed around the world by Sky Sports and the incident prompted an on-air apology from the broadcaster.

Rooney upset England fans during last summer's World Cup when he turned to a television camera and verbally criticised them at the end of the dismal goalless draw with Algeria.





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