Rooney accepts bad language charge but appeals ban
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney on Tuesday accepted a Football Association charge after swearing into a television camera, but will challenge the severity of his two-match ban.
In United's victory over West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday, Rooney scored a rapid-fire hat trick before swearing into the camera during the goal celebrations.
''Rooney has today admitted a charge for the use of offensive, insulting and/or abusive language,'' the FA said in a statement. ''However, Rooney has submitted a claim that the automatic penalty of two games is clearly excessive. A commission will hear the submission tomorrow (Wednesday).''
If Rooney's claim fails he runs the risk of having a suspension that currently includes Saturday's league match with Fulham and the following week's FA Cup semifinal with Manchester City extended.
Gordon Taylor, who is chief executive of the players' union, has questioned the FA's decision to charge Rooney.
''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,'' Taylor said. ''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.''
The charge was described on the Professional Footballers' Association website as being ''unprecedented'' and - if upheld - would set a ''dangerous precedent'' leading to a greater number of players being dismissed.