Rooney hit with two-match ban
Wayne Rooney will miss this month's FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City after he failed in an attempt to reduce the severity of a two-match ban imposed following his four-letter reaction to scoring a hat-trick at West Ham on Saturday.
Rooney scored the only goal at Stamford Bridge but has now learned he will miss Saturday's Premier League encounter with Fulham at Old Trafford, then the Wembley meeting with City on 16 April, with the FA merely confirming their original punishment.
"A Regulatory Commission has suspended Manchester United's Wayne Rooney for two matches," read a statement issued by the FA this morning. "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. The charge relates to an incident during his side's fixture with West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday 2 April 2011."
At least Rooney will be eligible to play in the return leg against Chelsea at Old Trafford on Tuesday. However, his absence is a blow to Ferguson, particularly for the City encounter given the 25-year-old's remarkable winner against them in February.
In a statement reacting to the decision, Rooney was clearly upset that he had failed in his appeal and would be missing the huge game with their local rivals. He said: "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 similarly expressed their "disappointment" at the ban shortly after it was confirmed. "Manchester United is clearly very disappointed with the decision," said a statement issued by the Old Trafford outfit.
"The club put forward a very strong case to have the punishment reduced, which was unsuccessful. Wayne 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."