Manchester United: Why Wayne Rooney Had To Be Banned for the Cursing Incident
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While the world mourns the loss of Wayne Rooney for a couple of games, and the pie salesman at Wembley reduces his order by a couple of dozen, I for one am glad he's been punished.
It's not because I'm a Manchester City fan—I firmly believe that Rooney could be handled by the City defence, especially the outstanding Kompany.
Rather, it's because we had to show that such behaviour is simply unacceptable.
The majority of ex-players and sports journalists alike have been continually telling us that swearing is and has always been part of the game and that you cannot legislate it away.
The world has changed in many ways over the last 10 years alone.
Swearing in any workplace is considered wrong. People in the "real world" have and will be fired for being verbally abusive towards others.
If it's acceptable to ask someone that works in Tesco, earning £250 per week, to control their language, then why can't the same be applied to "professional" footballers who earn £250,000 per week?
The ladies and gentlemen in supermarkets are under far more pressure than these pampered footballing professionals—they have bills to pay, MOTs to arrange, kids to pick up, buses to catch, doctor, dentist and hospital appointments to juggle. That's real pressure.
Those same people serving in supermarkets have never had media training, been provided with personal assistants or had their public pronouncements written for them by professional PR people.
What's more, we shouldn't forget that the boy Rooney has form.
He turned to the cameras at the last world cup and told the world that the English fans should be supporting him and the team—or words to that effect, at least.
It's clear that he knows how to find and look directly into a camera to convey his point of view. He also knows how to release a statement afterwards, apologising for his actions.
Rooney is smart enough to use the media for his own benefit—his recent contract "negotiations" with United adequately proved this.
So this punishment is fair—in any other job, such threatening and abusive language could have got him the sack.
If the FA was ever to regain control of the game, then at some point a stand had to be taken, and it was.
Whatever has come before this incident with Rooney is in may ways irrelevant, but it has encouraged the FA to finally say that enough is enough.
The new man at the top of the FA, David Bernstein (coincidentally, a Man City fan and ex-City chief executive), is a very able man, a shrewd operator and above all an experienced football administrator.
Before he took on the role of chairman of the FA, he would have known there was a need for the FA to provide leadership and to at times take a stand for the betterment of the game—at all levels.
We will likely see more of these decisions moving forward and eventually player behaviour should change as a result.
I look forward to referees being able to produce yellow and red cards when they are verbally abused and their authority on the pitch is questioned.
No doubt, there will be a few weeks of moaning from the usual suspects with their leader, Alex Ferguson at the head.
But the FA administer the laws of the game—not Fergie, not the media, regardless of however much noise they make.
In the future, we will look back on this Rooney punishment and be thankful for it.
Today may well be the day that the FA took control and began cleaning up the game.
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