x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Wayne Rooney 'gutted' with ban decision

The Manchester United striker calls the English FA's two-match ban "clearly excessive" that will see him miss the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on April 16.

Wayne Rooney will miss the Premier League match against Fulham and the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City.
Wayne Rooney will miss the Premier League match against Fulham and the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City.

LONDON // The Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney lost his appeal today against a two-match ban for swearing into a television camera, ruling him out of the FA Cup semi-finals against Manchester City.

Rooney said the punishment handed to him was "clearly excessive," but the Football Association's regulatory commission upheld the decision.

"The commission did not accept the claim and Rooney will begin the standard two-match suspension with immediate effect," the said in a FA statement.

The England international will miss Saturday's home game against Fulham in the Premier League and the FA Cup semi-final match against City a week later.

Rooney shouted an expletive directly into the camera on Saturday after scoring a penalty kick, which completed his hat trick as United rallied from 2-0 down to beat West Ham 4-2.

The 25-year-old striker apologised after the game, saying his conduct was "inappropriate." The host broadcaster, Sky Sports, also made an on-air apology to its viewers.

In a statement issued through Ian Monk, his spokesman, Rooney said: “I am gutted to miss two matches, one of which is an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

"I am not the first player to have sworn on TV and I won’t be the last.

"“Unlike others who have been caught swearing on camera, I apologised immediately. And yet I am the only person banned for swearing. That doesn’t seem right.

"Whatever, I have to accept that what’s happened has happened and move on from here. That is what I intend to do.”

Rooney's ban came just as he was starting to rediscover his best form. His goal in United's 1-0 victory over Chelsea in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday was his 10th in all competitions since the start of February.

The first half of the season saw Rooney beset with injuries and poor form, while he also had personal problems off the field, stemming from media allegations that he cheated on his then-pregnant wife with a prostitute.

United leads Arsenal by seven points at the top of the Premier League, but the Gunners have a game in hand.