Rooney was charged with using “offensive, insulting and/or abusive language” in our 4-2 victory over West Ham. The referee didn’t see it or hear it, but was forced by the FA to include it in his match report, claiming that if he had heard Rooney swearing, he would have sent him off.
Surely Martin Atkinson heard Pepe Reina swearing on the very same day in their defeat to West Brom? If not, why didn’t the FA get him to include it in his match report, and tell him to say if he had heard it, he would have sent him off.
People claim there is a difference between directly swearing in to a camera, like Rooney did, and swearing at an official. To be honest, if I bought in to this Respect campaign, I’d say swearing at an official, like Reina did, does more damage to their battle than swearing at a camera, like Rooney did. Regardless, the FA rule which Rooney broke and was banned for two games for, makes no mention of directly or indirectly swearing at a camera.
Obviously Reina didn’t get banned for two games but RoM obviously will be writing to the FA to complain every time a player is seen/heard swearing during a game on the telly and encourage you do to the same. In the desperation to ban Rooney, they really didn’t consider the can of worms they were opening. The precedent has been sent. EVERY player who is guilty of “offensive, insulting and/or abusive language” during a game and audible/visible to the viewer at home or in the ground, whether the referee heard it or not, should be banned for two games. Rooney didn’t break any rule about swearing in to a TV camera, because no such rule exists. He broke a rule regarding swearing full stop. Every other player who breaks this rule, directly in to a TV camera or otherwise, should miss two games.
Oh, and I’m really fucking offended by bad language, actually.