Swearing Rooney shows more common sense than FA

Swearing Rooney shows more common sense than FA [Video]


Manchester United’s inspiring comeback on Saturday – yet another revival from a club that has engineered countless others in the past two decades under Alex Ferguson – was meant to spur the league leaders into a final dash to the finish line, With Arsenal dropping points at home, it gave Manchester United the luxury of being able to win the Premier League even if they lost away at the Emirates.

But, predictably, this being English football, the real story is rarely enough to satiate the baying masses. Rooney swearing directly at the camera was ‘not seen by the referee’ and therefore open to review by the FA, who deliberated over the video evidence on Monday and after initially appearing to let the incident slide by, chose to charge Wayne Rooney for ‘using insulting or offensive language’.

Over the weekend the common consensus amongst football bloggers and journalists seemed to be that swearing at the camera, while unacceptable, was hardly worthy of FA’s time when there were far graver matters to look at – especially the weekly cases where FA’s rule to not review incidents where the referee has ‘seen the incident’ .

Why did Fergie blast Scudamore for talking up the ‘Respect’ campaign? Mainly because neither the Premier League nor the FA are doing anything substantial to improve referee decision-making (either through improved regulations that see aggressive protests get penalised or through video reviews of key incidents, regardless of where the referee was looking at that point).

Respect for the referee’s position is a given. Respect for his decisions is another matter, and it needs to be earned through proper sanctions and improved decision-making.

At least Rooney (more likely his PR advisers) had the common sense to realise that he’d made a mistake and released an apology after the game. The FA could do with better PR of their own – or at the very least they could stop applying the cosmetic quick fixes and start dealing with the core issue head-on. Referees need the authority and the support to make the right decisions on the pitch. If that’s not provided, a lot of people, and not just United fans, will tell the football authorities to just ‘fuck off’.


It’s also worth asking why Rooney swore into the camera – it’s not the first time he’s been followed by it after scoring a goal, and it’s not like he’s never gone to the camera himself. His comments seem directed at the cameraman, not necessarily at the camera (a good point made by Zonal Marking here).

It’s also worth asking why the FA is acting on this – because it’s become a media issue, forcing the FA to act? Or because it’s more dangerous to football and society than Essien’s two footed tackle against Stoke the same day? Or because the FA feel that not penalising Rooney for the ‘elbow’ was a mistake worth rectifying, and since the ref had seen that incident but not this one, they could take action?

At the end of the day, the FA need to take the right decisions to improve the ratio of right decisions taken by referees. They’re not going to do it by refusing to act when a ref gets it wrong, or by getting it wrong when the ref doesn’t see it.

As things stand, Rooney will plead guilty to the charge, express remorse and get a fine. He should have been fined in the first place and had the chapter closed this morning. But with the FA feeding the media, it’s going to go on and on.

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  1. This is a ridiculous over-reaction by the FA so many players swear all the time, just because we don’t hear it doesn’t mean we didn’t see it, how often is the phrase “Sorry for those who can lip read” used? If the microphone was closer to them it would have been exactly the same. Why aren’t all of those players suspended for 2 matches?

    • Players should be able to express themselves on the pitch, if you have ever played football you should know it is hard to keep your emotions in control and anger is usually shown through swearing. The difference with Wayne Rooney is that his incident occurred off the pitch in clear distance of a camera/microphone. Any swearing on the pitch should undoubtedly be left to the referees discretion and on most occasions unless it is directed at the officials the referee will not take action.
      I do not see how this though warrants a 2 match man but when he blatantly elbowed a player there was no action taken.

  2. Why is it you can critise anyone in this country except the FA and theyre actions cost managers jobs and clubs millions?

  3. The camera did not catch him swearing. He looked directly into the camera and swore, several times. He can swear all he wants but when you direct your language to the paying customers, and yes TV viewers are indirectly paying customers because they help to influence the massive TV rights deals, you have crossed the line. Swearing at the paying customers is not acceptable at a McDonald’s and it should not be acceptable in the Premier League either.

    • So spark, using your analogy about McDonalds, would it be acceptable to for an employee to swear at his Boss if he is told to do something he doesn’t want to, in front of paying customers? Reina clearly hurled abuse at Atkinson after the award of the 2nd penalty, so shouldn’t this be the same? Or is your analogy not going to stand up to scrutiny?

      • so sroberts how would the boss be the equivalent of the referee. the boss would be the person who pays the players and they would not swear at them to their face. The referee might be some sort of critic or watchdog for the food being served, in which case they would argue viciously with them and probably swear too. Come up with better scrutiny.

  4. Also comparing this to a two footed tackle is ridiculous. Football is a sport where reckless tackles will always happen. There will always be instances where players are too aggressive. Cursing into a camera is not a part of the game. That’s like saying two footed tackles are more dangerous than a player mooning the crowd, therefore mooning the crowd should not be punished. Rooney will be and should be punished. If you are Man U supporter, I’m sorry, but just accept it.

  5. Sending-off offences
    A player, substitute or substituted player is sent off if he commits any of the
    following seven offences:

    • serious foul play
    • violent conduct
    • spitting at an opponent or any other person
    • denying the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal scoring opportunity
    by deliberately handling the ball (this does not apply to a goalkeeper within
    his own penalty area)
    • denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity to an opponent moving
    towards the player’s goal by an offence punishable by a free kick or a
    penalty kick


    • receiving a second caution in the same match

    The above is from FIFA’s rule book. Many have been sent off for the same but I have never seen a player make it so obvious. It’s the same rule for every one especially when the total idiot doing it is caught on national TV!! He deserves the ban he should get, it is a red card offence the ref did not see so the F.A will use video evidence which is conclusive.

    • There are plenty of youtube videos showing Rooney elbowing James McCarthy in the back of the head. If I refer to your post of the FIFA Rule Book, surely that is conclusive enough of serious foul play?or violent conduct? Its the consistency of the FA punishing players which is the issue, not Wayne Rooney being banned.

      • You say the article is not about rooney being banned. Yet i quote “by refusing to act when a ref gets it wrong, or by getting it wrong when the ref doesn’t see it”. If this was genuinely about the fa and not a gripe about one of the worst behaved players in the premier league i would be more understanding.

    • In fact he is lucky, as a red card would carry a THREE match ban, but I suppose you can’t ask for too much.
      By my count, which doesnt include everything Im sure (haven’t even seen the vidic one at the weekend), Utd have gotten away with 10 CLEAR red card offences this season (giggs x1, scholes x2, rooney x2 (if you include this swearing thing), rafael x1, neville x2, ferdinand x1 and fletcher x1). These were all clear red card offences. Obviously teams get away with it once in a while, but 10 times in less than a season!? and that’s a conservative estimate! – but STILL they complain about referees!? It’s absurd. Rooney wasn’t just swearing at people watching, or the media, he was saying F*** you to the system. The FA have to show that the rules do apply to him.
      This thing about other players swearing is so fallacious. It’s apples and oranges. Rooney *shouted* expletives *into* a camera. He was begging to get caught for it. The FA can’t control how refs react, but this was a time when they really had to do something.

  6. rooney was really lucky not to be banned for the rest of the season after the elbow accident 2 months ago….mmmm my personall view is that he thinks he is untouchable like ronalado all that money has gone to his head and doing what he wants when he wants how he wants in his head is ok.Saturdays incident is another instance of this and why shouldnt he be sanctioned for it other players get a hatrick and celebrate with the other players they dont go into the camera swearing their heads off.I think a 2 match ban will give him a chance to calm down a bit if not then further incidents on the pitch could see him leaving english football for good

    • Like Steve Gerrards elbows against Michael Brown and Danny Welbeck (google it)remember the media going on about those incidents for weeks after….NOT!!as i said double standards.

  7. FA double standards again, Rooney was stupid without a doubt and he realized that too thats why he immediately apologised afterwards but to ban him for 2 games stinks,Ashley cole shoots his team mate with an air rifle Balotelli throws darts at youth players,before you say those incidents were not during a game neither was the Evra bust up with the Chelsea groundsman back in 2008 he got a 4 game ban for that.
    This will make winning number 19 so much sweeter.

    • it wasn’t during a game but it was directly after, during the warmdown, where the fa still have jurisdiction

      • FA make the rules up as they go along … I remember Jamie Carragher thowing a coin into the Arsenal crowd a few years back and he escaped further punishment, worse than saying the f word i suppose!!!!!

  8. Don’t be silly, comparing Rooney swearing to two-footed tackles and other offences. Let’s just look at what happened, nothing else. This is not a football problem. This is a person problem. Rooney has 100% class on the football field and 0% class off it. His upbringing dictates his behaviour. I would not like to live next door.

    • “Rooney has 100% class on the football field and 0% class off it.”
      But this incident happened on the field. And he also elbowed someone in the head just a few weeks ago. No, I wouldn’t say he has anything like 100% class on the football field. He needs some tough love, and Utd dont seem to be willing to give it to him. He’s a quality player, but in a way they’re just exploiting him. OK, they give him more money than we could ever dream of, but they’re encouraging his bad behaviour, and it seems to be destroying him personally.

  9. The FA and FIFA are doing the game no good whatsoever. There are some bad decisions (many) from Referees, but I feel as a qualified Referee who gave it up due to the total lack of respect from players and managers (small M many are not worthy of a capital M), that the governing bodies and money have more than a passing influence.

    Premiership Referees love the game for many reasons but if they start Red carding the “stars” it is pretty unlikely they will be Refereeing Premiership games next year.

    Meanwhile at the mini football and parks level kids emulate their heroes and swear at referees, dispute every decision and generally behave badly. It is ruining the game. It is also frighteningly obvious that most players, managers and indeed commentators have no more than a passing knowledge of the LAWS of the game. Harry Redknap stated a week or two back that if every encroached penalty had to be retaken then they would never get a penalty completed. So be it, but I’m sure the financial backers would bring some influence on Harry to stop his players encroaching as the game descended into farce.

    As for Rooney, high profile requires high standards. He has none of the latter.

  10. OK.So obviously we have alot of sore liverpool losers commenting here.If you cannot see banning a player for swearing as excessive then there is something wrong with you.Is rooney the first player to ever swear on a football pitch.Is rooney the first player to ever swear to the camera.Both no answers.If the FA go ahead with this then there will be plenty of players serving bans every weekend.What about players swearing in another language.what about players constantly swearing at referees and linesman.Rooney did not swear to anyone.He swore about the situation.It was relief.

    It’s not surprising that a former man city chairman is now the chairman of the FA.

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