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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:


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?


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About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. willierednut says:

    Obviously, you were buggered as a kid. Deep rooted problems. I feel sorry for your hardship. You pointed out the same shite we’ve been hearing from sad scousers for a long time. Nothing new, just boring and repetitive old shite. Being schooled isn’t easy, don’t take it to heart mate. 20 years and counting……..

  2. willierednut says:

    I always get the last word bob lol. Good banter.

  3. mattbw7 says:

    A 1st class plum, I think we can all agree.

  4. mattbw7 says:

    Redshadow you appear to bask in some world where you think your view points have a new angle or slant merely because you have written them, I believe if you take a little time to inform yourself you will discover that while you think your utterences have new meaning, alas they don’t, its difficult to argue with someone who hides behind that particular type of insularity, What I will offer you is when you come up with an original thought, comment or argument I will debate it with you.

    Judging from what I’ve read up to now, I think I’m in for a bit of wait.

  5. Redshadow says:

    Lonely? WHY Would I be lonely when I’ve got a lovely fiancee and a little one to worry about? As to the 20 years CRAP? You’ve just PROVEN me right again you sad stupid fucker. Chant “20 years” All you like but guess what? It Won’t change the future – It Won’t make United great again and without Ferguson And with the Glazer’s to deal with whether he’s there or not? United will be VERY far from being great soon enough.

    In fact you know THE worst thing I can say to you now ‘Rednut? (What’s the nut for? Nutter? You clearly sound like one). Anyway the worst thing I can say is this – Now ‘rednut? It’s YOU that sounds like a Liverpool fan in every way – Right down to the cliches and ‘invoking’ of the past to TRY and magically win arguments where you’re on a sticky wicket or losing. Not that it’s done you any good whatsoever here mind – You sound more pathetic and desparate to win than ever*……………

    *Last word indeed – If the last word is the inane ramblings of a half-tramp who Knows his team are THAT close to being in the shite BIG time? Ramblings that only an equally stupid mate of his actually considers? Then maybe but The last word? As ever goes to an experienced arguer like me and BTW? It’s not the FIRST time I’ve had the last word of you either – Get used to losing – As a United fan you Will do soon enough.

    And no – My upbringing was fine – I shudder to think of YOURS mind. But I’m good enough at forming arguments to not NEED to resort to THOSE tactics – How’s the old saying go? “He who speaks in insults? Has nothing useful or good to say at all” – Sums up your excuses for arguments and insults aimed at me don’t you think? You can think of No answers to what I say or argue so? You Try and turn the conversation into an ‘insults battle’ instead to fight on ground your obviously comfortable on but?

    You can’t even do That properly can you? As to what you’ve been “Hearing” from Scousers? “Nothing new” etc? Well guess what? However long it takes and however much we say it? Deride it all you like because One day soon? It WILL be true, ALL of it – It always IS. However big the club and however much the media Try and help them avoid the fate they damn well deserve but? Time gets All of them in the end or in Your case? Time And the Glazers mean THAT day? Might just be here a whole lot sooner than you might think…………….

    Being Schooled? No idea how it feels? You tell ME – Your the one whose still digging at 6 feet down and completely out of it having been given a lesson in the noble art of counter-attacking. Carry on humiliating yourself – It’s no skin off my nose……………*

    If I’m a plum what are YOU mattbw? A deaf clod maybe? Someone who ONLY sides with his bretheren however STUPID they sound?

    As to your other points? As I said, Everyone Is unique – Thier viewpoints Are individual and thus different to everyone else’s however similar they may APPEAR. You want an ‘original’ argument? OK how about answering IF you think United fans by unconditionally supporting the team and Ferguson’s so-called ‘winning’ mentality to the exclusion of ALL else? Are making their future battle to remove the Glazers from the club a lot damn more difficult than it NEEDS to be? For believe me on Two things having experienced the bad end of what they’re doing to your club first-hand -

    Firstly; Like it or not? One day soon, that battle WILL come and it will be United fans becoming ‘cyber terrorists’ etc as we once did since attacking them That way is just about the ONLY way to strike them where it REALLY hurts and cause enough damage to eventually shift them.

    Secondly? The Longer you leave it before moving en masse against them? Because you’re unwilling to upset the applecart, don’t want to turn on Fergie whose CLEARLY in their camp ATM etc? Well the longer you wait before finally attacking them to REMOVE them? The Harder it will be To remove them in the end and excise them completely from OT. You saw Us last October? With Court Cases bouncing between the UK and US, threats of writs, legal warnings all over the place and ‘Cyber terrorists’ entering the English language to describe the tactics we used that Finally weakened them enough for us to kill them off at Anfield? Well your fight at the current rate? Will be that times TEN at least – Even if you start proper going after them today? At this rate you’ll still be fighting court cases in the Caribbean, Iranian and Far Eastern Courts one after another a decade from now so deeply are they entrenched.

    So HERE is my original argument Mattbw – Do you agree with my 2 points? Or do you think like that madman ‘rednut that the Glazers are a ‘weak’ argument to use against United and they’ll just magically vanish somehow in the years to come? See what you come up with in response and believe me mate? IF you agree with ‘Rednut? You might JUST be in for a bit of a shock……………

    *Nb ‘Rednut? As I said above? The last word Ed? Not THIS time – Agree re the banter though – Must go now – My little un’s TRYING to type for me and climbing up next to my keyboard. Until next we joust long in the future may that day be………..

  6. willierednut says:

    Sad and lonely. I get the picture now. He just wants a friend. No one on rawk liked him. He has to come on a United blog, to get a bit of company. Still with the repetitive shite. Nothing new again. He says I’m a nutter, but yet he comes back time and time again. Sad lonely Bob. Don’t worry your little nugget about the Glazers. Nothing to do with Liverpool fans. Obsessed much? Go to your son Bob, he’ll find you less painful and boring, to listen too. That 20 years is getting to you, like I am. If you come back again, the point will be proved. You banter is weak, like king sour gob. Other scousers must cross to the other side of the road, when they see you. Couldn’t blame them. This is my last post on you, mission completed. Schooled a dipper again. Bye.

  7. Redshadow says:

    Ah yet again another witless reply is reeled in from the poster who just loves to be humiliated – I’ll dissect it and embarrass you once more shall I my worthy banter foe?

    Anyway; No ‘Rednut – I came here to talk FOOTBALL with some of the more sensible fans on here who’ve Long since abandoned This particular article (Like KingEric) and gone on elsewhere. You remember Football? The sport we claim to support our clubs in and the one your club Claim (ridiculous though it is since your little more than dirt on the boots of the continent’s TRUE heavyweights like Real Madrid, Barcelona and in European Terms? Us) to dominate. You as with a number of United fans I know however had some ridiculous inferiority complex and thus Tried to turn it into a pissing contest for no apparent reason – CLAIMING I have no original arguments and then recycling tired cliches Much, much older than anything I used – Using God only knows how many old truisms to try and insult me and my fellow Reds fans without realising? You are turning into the very thing you Claim We are!!!

    As to the RAWK reptetive shite You are citing in your own sad, lonely defence? Wrong again – I had allies and enemies on there as ALL posters do on All blogs, forums etc. The problem I had there was that one particular foe of mine? Was one of the site’s main moderators and I wound him up (or he did Me) once to often. Sad and lonely am I? What does that make YOU then Ed? Bitter, resentful, Equally lonely and venomous Because of the selfsame Glazers you tell me not to worry about? I’m Not BTW? Worried about the Glazers – I’m quite intrigued by what their doing actually and wondering if your fans are all self-important all gob and no action windbags like You are or if some of you will actually get off your arses this side of Doomsday, put in the Hard Yards and remove them from your Club on your own terms and by force as WE eventually did to H & G.

    Not obsessed – no, I’ve spent this long arguing with you since I’m stubborn more than anything else – I Refuse to allow the last word to go to someone who recycles the same repetitive shite he accuses Me of spewing out and then? Refuses to so much as TRY and answer My points and questions – Probably because he damn well KNOWS he can’t. Not sufficiently anyway. Oh yes, My little boy’s fine – Thanks for mentioning him – I certainly find him easier to listen to and MUCH less anally retentive, boring and downright sleep-inducing to rowing with you.

    You or United getting to me? Don’t flatter yourself mate – I’ll fight you to the finish on here to prove a point but if you were getting to me? Do you think I’d return to embarrass you time after time? And 20 years? Is nothing, a speck, gone in a flash; In 20 years of my life? I saw us dominate for Much longer than that win as many titles as United have recently and MUCH, much more besides – I’ve seen us RETAIN the European Cup, dominate consistently season in, season out at Home And abroad – Both things Whiskey nose has never done and This close to the end of his career? It’s safe to say never WILL do.

    I’ve seen in that time to What happens to Empires that persist overlong and their followers who Always end up believing they’re invincible – The empires ALWAYS crumble right down to the last brick and their manager’s achievment’s? However great? Are lost on the sands of time – Ours did and were – Yours will be to…..In time and all the banter, bluster and insults you can conjure up CAN’T change that however much you crap on about me – You know it to – You sound more like a record each time you reply to me and like that self-same broken record? You Still hit all the wrong notes and prove my arguments right with Every reply you type – You laugh at, namecall and insult all you like because you don’t even See it do you? What your accusing Me of being? You’re very fast turning into yourself and not just you either but also? Most United fans now? Bear a very strong resemblence to Us 2 decades or so ago – I wonder why THAT is?

    As to me? I’m back – I’ll always be back, argue the points – All of them with you to a standstill. You’ll prove Nothing to me whatever point you think you’ve won you really think you can outargue someone who works in Law? And the King? As I said before and you never answered – IF he’s so weak? How come Fergie, United and All their might? Couldn’t lay so much as a Glove on us UNTIL long after he’d gone before? And how is it in the 2 meetings since he’s returned? You won one with a dive and a ridiculous red card and were utterly humiliated in the other? And how to has he turned a team that was in the bottom 3 only 6 months ago? Into one almost matching your precious United for form in the league over the last few games in recent months? One that by the damage it’s done in that time to the other ‘Big 4′ clubs? Most especially Chelsea and last week? Arsenal – Might very well WIN you the league this year? And don’t tell me Ferguson Would manage that if the situations were reversed – When did He last have a team as weak as we were in October? And When he did? What were his results? Answer that one if you can.

    And no, I get on fine with other scousers, a few Mancs, Southerners, Everton, Chelsea fans – You name them. I number ALL of them amongst my friends – It’s just the obsessed ones who insist on flogging dead horses like Yourself that I have issue and argue with. My last post back to I think – humiliated a Manc’ skiprat yet again. Bye for now. Until next we meet whenever THAT may be; Not that you’ll learn anything in the meantime – You can’t teach anything to those who are incapable of listening can you? You’re a FINE example of that……….

    NB If I CAN’T embarrass you at will? How come you’ve popped up Chock-Full of bluster and No answers to genuine points and questions after my last 3 or 4 posts After having before each of them was written? And after Declaring That this would be your LAST post to me? Then proceeded Each time to present me with a Perfect target in another windbag generated rant that’s the online equivalent of a drunken old tramp rambling on and ranting about better days and just RIPE for dissection and further embarrassment for you, it’s author. A glutton for punishment are you?

    Anyways – You won’t resist again will you? I anticipate yet Another repetitive rant ripe for destruction a few hours after you read this – Let’s see If the bait reels you in once more shall? Here fishy-fishy, come and get it – Like shooting fish in a barrel this. OK ‘Rednut Let’s see if you do silence as well as you do bluster, rubbish and tramp impressions in Fergie’s honour – I’m betting you can’t, yet again. Go on, prove me wrong – If you can……………..

  8. mattbw7 says:

    What’s that phrase about empty vessels, can’t quite remember…………………………………………….

  9. mattbw7 says:

    Oh just so you know I’m not siding with anyone, just commenting on what I read take the time to view some of my posts in the forum section and you will see I often take my fellow fans to task where I feel its needed .
    I have to concede though at least they elicit a response on the point they raise alas for you I don’t read anything of merit that’s worthy of a direct reply.

  10. willierednut says:

    Point proved Matt. Lets go and let Bob the nomad, drown in his own boring repetitive self.


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