Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney has accepted a Football Association charge, but he will contest a two-match suspension.
Rooney was hit the charge of using offensive, insulting and/or abusive language after shouting obscenities into a television camera after completing his hat-trick in United’s 4-2 win at West Ham on Saturday.
The England striker later apologised for the incident, claiming it was “in the heat of the moment”, and will now appeal against a ban that would rule him out of the Premier League games against Fulham and the huge FA Cup semi-final showdown with Manchester City at Wembley Stadium.
A statement on the FA’s official website read: “Manchester United player Wayne Rooney has today admitted a charge for the use of offensive, insulting and/or abusive language.
“However, Rooney has submitted a claim that the automatic penalty of two games is clearly excessive. A commission will hear the submission on Wednesday.
“The charge relates to an incident during his side’s fixture with West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday April 2, 2011.”
Having challenged the decision Rooney could now have his punishment increased if a disciplinary declare it to be frivolous.
Meanwhile, Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, has urged the FA to make players aware of any change in the treatment of “industrial language”.
Taylor told the PFA’s official website: “Whilst the use of foul and abusive language is not condoned, there is an acceptance by all parties within the game that 'industrial language' is commonly used.
“It becomes an issue when directed towards match officials.
“However, when used in a spontaneous way in celebration or frustration then it is not normally expected to merit a sanction.
“If sanctions are to be imposed in such circumstances then this has to be done in a balanced and consistent manner, and participants made aware of this fundamental change in approach.”