Bad swear day for the FA


By Matt Dodd.

Consistency. Not a word that comes to mind when you think of the FA.

On February 28th, the Football Association decided not to take action against Wayne Rooney for his elbow on Wigan’s James McCarthy. Let’s be honest, Wazza got off lightly.

That said, the FA have now decided to punish Rooney with a two-match ban for swearing at a television camera when celebrating not just a goal, not just the completion of a hat-trick, but a defining moment in this fascinating season which has given Manchester United the upper hand.

It does need reiterating that it was an early Saturday afternoon. Millions of people, including children and the elderly, were watching with wide eyes. It was, quite simply, a silly thing to do from Wayne.

But, let’s say Craig Mackail-Smith has scored a last minute winner for Peterborough United in an Npower League 1 televised match, and expressed his passion and emotions by swearing in front of a camera.

The FA wouldn’t look twice at it. Nobody would. Everyone would be too busy talking about what a fantastic season Mackail-Smith is having and considering Peterborough’s promotion chances. Simple as that.

But because this is ‘Wayne Rooney’, he gets special treatment.

And as if anyone needs reminding, this is a household name who has suffered a horrendous past 12 months, a footballer who has had inches and inches written about his life on and off the field, scrutinising and criticising his every word and move, piling enormous amounts of pressure on him to succeed.

Watching the footage of Rooney’s outburst at the camera, I’m sure a little bit of everybody can sympathise with him. It seemed to me that Rooney was responding to and answering his critics in his own, albeit foul and offensive, way.

After all, it is the public who are frequently screaming and swearing at Rooney, whether it’s in the stands, at the pub or in the playground. So, if anything, Rooney just gave the public just a tiny dose of their own medicine.

Register with the Stretford End Arising forum.

Subscribe via Email

Subscribe to our free email newsletter and never miss a post!

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.


  1. James Biggs on

    I’m sorry mate, but your wrong. Your comparison to Craig Mackail-Smith is almost pointless. Wayne Rooney is Wayne Rooney. Ask anyone and 9/10 will know who Wayne Rooney is. Ask the same people about Craig Mackial-Smith and the reply will most likely be ‘Who?’. Wayne Rooney is not just a footballer. He is a global star, a national icon and a role model to children. He is the face of English football. Football being the worlds biggest sport, and England is it mother nation. Hence making anyone who is Englands star player is one of the worlds global icons. He is expected, and he knows, to set an example. The right example.

    Wayne is not just a footballer. He plays for one of the biggest team in the world. He is one of the highest paid players in the game. He is up amongst the elite. Do Messi, Ronaldo, Xaxi etc swear into cameras? No, because they, amongst other things, understand the role bestowed to them as the worlds biggest players.

    So to compare Wayne to Craig is pointless. Wayne has a responsibilty, and he failed it this weekend.

  2. James, you have gone in depth about a point I made. Wayne Rooney IS Wayne Rooney, a global star, a role model blah blah blah. Whilst Mackail-Smith is relatively unknown. That’s a point I made.

    Whilst I do not condone Rooney for what he did, the point I’m making is that I’m pretty sure there are no special rules written by the FA which say, “Well, if you’re a big star, or a good player, with the public all over your private life, you have to be much better behaved than other standard players.” It doesn’t work like that.

    So, I think it’s very appropriate to compare Wayne to Craig.

  3. James Biggs on

    So if Craig Mackial-Smith swears into the cameras, will children up and down the country be copying his actions on a monday mornig when they score a goal in the playground? No. But Wayne is such a role model, and is looked upto by children, that there is every likelyhood of that happening.

    Wayne should understand he holds a huge responsibility over his conduct. I agree that the F.A need to be more consitant, and he should have been punished for his elbow. But I agree with the F.A’s punishment, because the F.A need to buck the trend before it starts. Wayne has been made an example of, a right one I feel. Had Gerrard, Torres, Lampard, Terry etc done the same thing then I honestly believe they would have been made examples of.

    But, again, they don’t do it. When Gerrard scores he kisses the camera; Lampard points to the heavens in memory of his mother; Torres slides on his knees. Even when John Terry was getting batterd in the press for his affair and when he lost the England captaincy he didn’t lash out at a TV camera.

    Wayne has failed himself, and the punishment is just.

  4. I agree and disagree with the points you have made.

    Agreed, no child will be influenced by any player outside the PL who acts like that. But my article was based around consistency – and if it’s a rule for one, it’s a rule for all etc.

    You make a good point about Gerrard/Lampard/Torres style of celebrating – but have any of them ever really been figure-heads of hatred in the press?

    I remember Terry scored soon after the the revelations of his private life, and did well not to celebrate like Rooney. But he really did have a responsibility not to – he is/was the captain of England and that is completely a different kettle of fish.

    I don’t know how you can say ‘Wayne has failed himself’. For christ sake, his job is to score goals, and he did exactly the opposite of failing by scoring a sensation hat-trick.

    Some people I have spoken to have compared Wayne’s rant to Drogba’s following Chelsea’s Euro exit to Barca in 09. The Drog eventually got away with a mere 1 match ban (granted it was UEFA, not the FA) – which I think made him miss a CL qualifier – hardly a vital game. Drogba’s rant was far, far worse. I remember people trying to hold him back, while he swore, heavily abusing the referee like a wild animal.

    If Rooney’s bad is more than Drogba’s, it will indeed be, a f***ing disgrace.

  5. James Biggs on

    On this notion of consistency I, as already stated, agree with you. The F.A needs to be consistent when handing out retrospective bans, buts its not to say Rooney doesn’t deserve his ban. The only difference between the two situations is that the elbow was dealt with by the ref, so the only conclusion I can come up with is the F.A tried to spare Clattenburg’s blush’s by not handing Rooney a ban? That’s just my theory.

    As I have stressed, Rooney is no average footballer; or person for that matter. His lifestyle treats him very well. He is adored by millions. He gets special, celebrity like treatment, and the pay that comes with it. If Wayne doesn’t know by now that he is not just your average footballer, and that he should be one of the lead example makers, then I doubt he ever will. It’s because of this I say Wayne has failed himself. On the pitch on Saturday he put on a master class. Not many people can boast a premier league hat-trick. But to act so poorly as a result will remain unjustifiable. When David Cameron won the election did he scream ‘F**K YEAH!’ into a camera? No, but he probably said it behind closed doors. When London won the 2012 Olympic bid, did Seb Coe & co do likewise? No. I understand there is a difference in scale in my comparisons, but I’m making the point that in our country more people will probably know who Wayne Rooney is that David Cameron or Lord Coe. And that the way he acts is heard/seen/affects millions worldwide.

    On your point of Drogba, unfortunately comparison cannot be drawn because they have been dealt with by two different parties. But I am certain had it been a premier league match when Drogba’s out burst had taken place he would of received an identical punishment to Wayne.

    And when people say its taking the emotion out of the game, I fail to believe that. What was stopping Wayne turning away from the camera and shouting the exact same words? Nothing. That is why I believe Wayne Rooney failed himself, and deserves his punishment.

    On a brighter note, he showed last night how to celebrate properly.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.