Wayne Rooney banned for Man Utd's FA Cup semi-final

Wayne Rooney
Rooney swore after completing his hat-trick in Saturday's 4-2 win at West Ham

Wayne Rooney said he is "gutted" he will miss the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City on 16 April after he failed to overturn a two-match ban.

The Manchester United striker accepted the Football Association charge for swearing into a TV camera after scoring a hat-trick at West Ham last Saturday.

But he appealed against the length of the suspension, calling it "excessive".

"That doesn't seem right," read a statement from Rooney, who also misses Saturday's league game against Fulham.

The 25-year-old issued his statement shortly after the announcement and it added: "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."

Manchester United also released a statement in which the club admitted to being "clearly very disappointed".

It continued: "The club put forward a very strong case to have the punishment reduced, which was unsuccessful.

"Wayne Rooney apologised immediately after the match, and the club now wishes to move to on to what hopefully will be a very exciting conclusion to the season."

Despite serving a domestic suspension, Rooney will still be available for the second leg of United's Champions League quarter-final against Chelsea at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

The England international scored the winner in United's 1-0 win in the first leg at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

The first match for which Rooney will be available domestically is the Premier League trip to Newcastle on 19 April. The Red Devils are seven points clear of second-place Arsenal having played one game more than their closest challengers.

"A regulatory commission has suspended Manchester United's Wayne Rooney for two matches," read the statement issued by the FA on Thursday.

"Rooney had admitted a charge for the use of offensive, insulting and/or abusive language, but claimed that the automatic penalty of two games was clearly excessive.

"The commission did not accept the claim and Rooney will begin the standard two-match suspension with immediate effect."

Rooney's United team-mate Rio Ferdinand said he believes his friend is coming in for harsh treatment, despite acknowledging his mistakes.

"We should follow him as a footballer rather than keep lynching him for a lot of the stuff that goes on," Ferdinand commented on Wednesday.

"I wouldn't say he is innocent in a lot of the stuff that has happened, but sometimes because of the player he is and who he is the reaction can be over the top.

"Wayne Rooney swearing on TV, as much as I don't condone it, is not front page news.

"There are bigger things going on in the world. I don't condone it but because it is him everyone goes over the top. I don't feel sorry for him. He thrives off the attention. But he thrives off football attention rather than the stuff on the outside. He loves playing football.

"That's what he wants to be judged on and talked about."

Rooney's absence on Saturday is good news for Fulham considering his current form, but Cottagers boss Mark Hughes said he had some sympathy for the United star.

"There is a lot of focus on us, so we have to be mindful of how we behave," reflected Hughes, who played over 300 times for the Red Devils

"He is a high profile player and everything he does is magnified. Wayne has a different position in the game.

"Having watched his performance last night [against Chelsea] I'm obviously pleased because I thought he was outstanding and obviously if he is not available then that is a positive for us."

And Bolton manager Owen Coyle said that the worldwide appeal of the Premier League meant players had an extra responsibility to behave accordingly.

"The Premier League gets global coverage and everything comes under scrutiny. Whatever you do is analysed and over-analysed," Coyle commented.

"The players need to take that into consideration, realising if they think they can get away with something, ultimately they won't because there are cameras everywhere. You need to be very careful and very wary of your actions.

"It is such a passionate game and an emotional game. These players are not robots. They are the same as Rooney banned for Cup semi-final everyone else, sometimes that emotion can spill over.

"But because of that coverage it is going to be seen. We know the margins we have to deal with and you just have to do your best and conduct yourself as well as you can."