The following is the statement released by the FA at the close of business:
“The FA has today charged Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney for the use of offensive, insulting and/or abusive language relating to an incident during his side’s fixture with West Ham United. Rooney has until 6pm on April 5 to respond to the charge.”
The ban is ultimately unsurprising. I expected the FA to look for a reason to suspend Rooney after it got roasted by the media for failing to ban him for his elbow against Wigan February 26. Then Rooney managed to somehow be caught on camera saying a naughty word and presto! The FA had their makeup suspension opportunity, and they took it with the relish that an out of form striker scores a tap in.
If this is any other player, I doubt it becomes as big of a deal as it has. If this is any other team, I doubt the FA puts their foot down. Other players have committed far graver acts of disrespect on the football pitch and off it, for which they never get suspended. John Terry shagged a teammate’s wife, which was enough for Fabio Capello to strip him of the arm band but he did not receive any suspension from the FA. Steven Gerrard punches a DJ in a club and receives no ban. Gerrard even punches someone on the pitch and receives no sanction. Ashley Cole shoots a visiting fan with an air soft pistol on the Chelsea training ground and was not banned.
Additionally, the idea that now the FA can use technology to dole out punishments to players is bang out of order. It seems with frightening regularity that the FA uses hindsight aided by technology to suspend United players. Rio Ferdinand was punished in such a way after he appeared to punch a Hull City player last season. Video technology was not used against David Luiz when it was apparent to everyone watching the match at Stamford Bridge in March that he deserved to be awarded a second yellow card and be suspended for the next Chelsea match.
The manner in which the Football Association treats United players is worthy of remark not just by we biased United supporters, but also by people who call themselves football fans. But since United were named the most hated corporation, worse than McDonalds, no one else will rise to our defence. I expect that Sir Alex will use this as further motivation for the squad, to instill the message of us against the world. Even the Football Association does not want to see United win silverware this season by suspending Rooney for the FA Cup Semi and holding his appeal (if United do appeal) on Wednesday, the same day that United play Chelsea in the Champions League Quarterfinal.
Wayne Rooney got banned because he’s Wayne Rooney. I do not think England and the FA have forgiven him for not singlehandedly winning his country a World Cup in 2006, failing to qualify for Euro 2008 and losing in such an embarrassing manner to Germany in the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup last summer. A player that ought to be treated with reverence if anything as one of the most talented footballers to ever don the England shirt is instead treated horribly by his home country’s governing body.
The hypocrisy of the Football Association is asinine. It is beyond egregious. And it is absolutely beyond being worthy of our respect. I did not write this out of bitterness, but out of respect for the game I love. I cannot stand the idea that a governing body can simply administer ‘justice’ when it sees fit. Maybe it’s the American in me, but I believe ardently in equal application of the law. And far too many times the Football Association has violated it.
What fucking what indeed.