Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United set to appeal against Rooney’s suspension

By John Kerr

Manchester United last night accepted Wayne Rooney's FA charge for swearing — but the club has appealed against his two-match ban. The FA received a submission from United and will hear the case this afternoon.

Rooney was charged on Monday after swearing into a television camera while celebrating a goal scored against West Ham during Saturday's 4-2 win.

The charge carries a two-game suspension, which would rule him out of Saturday's Premier League game with Fulham and the following weekend's FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City.

United have appealed against the severity of this ban and today's hearing may reduce it to allow him to play in the semi-final.

Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor entered the debate by issuing a statement on the PFA website.

It read: “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.”

The charge was described on the PFA's website as being “unprecedented” and if upheld, would set a “dangerous precedent” leading to a greater number of players being dismissed.

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