The FA charged Wayne Rooney with “using offensive, insulting or abusive language” and banned him for two games.

Last weekend, RoM (as well as many others) wrote to the FA with examples of other players guilty of “using offensive, insulting or abusive language”.

In their response, they said: The FA takes a dim view of any foul and abusive language used at football matches. The clear distinction to be made in the Wayne Rooney case is that the language used was directed specifically at a television camera lens, whilst clearly audible to the viewing public.

I e-mailed them back asking where in Law 12 does it make the distinction between using abusive language directly or indirectly at a television camera lens. Unsurprisingly, five days later, they have yet to answer this question.

So, we carry on…

April 16th 2011
8. Player: Dimitar Berbatov
Game: City vs United
Time: 15 minutes

Shouted “fuck” (followed by something in Bulgarian) after missing the target.

April 16th 2011
9. Player: Mario Balotelli
Game: City vs United
Time: 49 minutes

Said ʺmavafanculo maʺ (go fuck yourself/fuck off) after referee awarded goal kick instead of a corner.

April 16th 2011
10. Player: Chris Brunt
Game: West Brom vs Chelsea
Time: 84 minutes

Shouted “fuck off” after striking a freekick wide.

April 17th 2011
11. Player: Andy Carroll
Game: Arsenal vs Liverpool
Time: 13 minutes

Repeatedly shouted “fuck off” to the referee’s assistant after a freekick was awarded against him. Told the referee to “fuck off” again on 24 minutes.

April 17th 2011
11. Player: Martin Skrtel
Game: Arsenal vs Liverpool
Time: 32 minutes

Said “it wasn’t a fucking foul” to the referee after he conceded a freekick for a challenge on Eboue.

April 17th 2011
12. Player: Jack Robinson
Game: Arsenal vs Liverpool
Time: 94 minutes

The referee’s assistant awarded a corner and not a goalkick, so Robinson told him to fuck off.

Whilst not a player, Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish told Arsene Wenger to “fuck off” in clear view of the camera at the end of the game.

To get in touch with the FA you must first register as a fan. Then you can contact them using this contact form.

Feel free to write your own message to the FA or copy and paste the message I sent below:

Hi,

Last weekend I wrote to inform you Jermaine Beckford, Peter Crouch, Matthew Etherington, Joey Barton, Nile Ranger and Charlie Adam were guilty of breaking Law 12, by “using offensive, insulting or abusive language” in their matches and it was seen on the television. This offence is worthy of a red card according to the Law yet none of these players were even cautioned by the referee, despite some of the players directing their abusive language at the referee or referee’s assistant.

Video footage was used to ban Wayne Rooney for two games and so it was disappointing that the FA chose not to use video footage to retrospectively punish any of the players mentioned above, despite them being brought to the FA’s attention.

In the response I got from the FA I was told “the clear distinction to be made in the Wayne Rooney case is that the language used was directed specifically at a television camera lens, whilst clearly audible to the viewing public.” I have looked at Law 12 and it makes no reference to a television camera lens, let alone a harsher punishment being deserved for directing foul and abusive language at a camera lens.

Regardless, if “using offensive, insulting or abusive language” is worthy of a red card, why do players who are guilty of this rarely, if ever, get sent off?

This weekend, Dimitar Berbatov was clearly seen shouting “f*ck” on 15 minutes in the Manchester derby. On 49 minutes in the same game, Mario Balotelli shouted “mavafanculo ma” (“f*ck off”) after the referee awarded a goal kick instead of a corner.

Chris Brunt was clearly seen shouting “f*ck off” after striking a freekick wide on 84 minutes against Chelsea.

In the Arsenal vs Liverpool game, Andy Carroll told the referee to “f*ck off” after a freekick was awarded against him on 13 minutes. He told the referee to “f*ck off” again on 24 minutes. In the same game, Martin Skrtel shouted “it wasn’t a f*cking foul” at the referee after conceding a freekick for a challenge on Eboue on 32 minutes.

Lee Mason claimed that he would have sent Wayne Rooney off had he heard him swearing, which lead to Rooney’s charge and two match ban. We have a case of glaring double standards given how many players have used abusive language, but not only that, directly at the referee, but haven’t been sent off. Is Mason the only referee who follows Law 12? Too many other referee’s are clearly undermining the Respect campaign by not punishing players the way Rooney was. Why is this? Now that these occasions have been pointed out to the FA, shouldn’t they follow these with retrospective punishments, just as was done to Rooney?

By only punishing one player retrospectively for “using offensive, insulting or abusive language” the FA cannot expect fans, players or managers to take their Respect campaign seriously, as it appears the FA are not taking it seriously themselves. Did the FA make a mistake in banning Rooney if they are not prepared to punish any other player for breaking the same Law?

Thanks,
Scott

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