Rooney charged, faces two match ban over foul-mouthed outburst

LONDON, (Reuters) – Manchester United striker Wayne  Rooney has been charged with using foul language while  celebrating a goal in Saturday’s 4-2 win at West Ham United, the  Football Association said in a statement yesterday.

“The FA has today charged Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney  for the use of offensive, insulting and/or abusive language  relating to an incident during his side’s fixture with West Ham  United,” the statement said.

“Rooney has until 6pm on April 5 to respond to the charge.”

Wayne Rooney

If he accepts the charge, Rooney will miss United’s home league match against Fulham on Saturday and the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City at Wembley on April 16.

He would, however, be free to play in both legs of the  Champions League quarter-final against Chelsea as that game  comes under the auspices of UEFA and not the FA.

The England striker, 25, apologised for his outburst soon  after the match, saying he swore “in the heat of the moment”  after completing a 14-minute hat-trick and that his words “were  not aimed at anyone in particular”.

On-air apology

Saturday’s Premier League game at Upton Park was televised  live around the world by Sky Sports and the incident prompted an  on-air apology from the broadcaster.

Rooney also criticised England fans during last year’s World  Cup finals in South Africa when he shouted into a TV camera as  he walked off the field at the end of a dismal goalless draw  with Algeria.  Rooney’s actions sparked pages of debate in yesterday’s  newspapers and took the gloss off his hat-trick which helped  United turn around a 2-0 halftime deficit to win the match and  move seven points clear at the top of the table.

Referee Lee Mason took no action against Rooney at the time  because he was not aware of what he had done.

The incident came days after the Premier League’s chief  executive Richard Scudamore said that the 20 league clubs had  agreed to improve behaviour and that by next season there would  be plans in place for managers and players to show greater  respect.

The charge against Rooney came while United manager Alex  Ferguson is serving a five-match touchline ban imposed for  comments he made about the referee following United’s defeat by  Chelsea last month.

West Ham manager Avram Grant was also handed a two-match  touchline suspension yesterday and fined for comments he made  about a referee last month.

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