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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 21, 2006

In form Rooney 'devastated' by three-game ban

Wayne Rooney admits he has been left devastated by the prospect of missing Manchester United's next three matches.

The Red Devils striker scored twice in Sunday's 5-1 hammering of Fulham at Old Trafford but will not be seen again on domestic duty until the middle of September as he begins a three-game ban.

So angry is the 20-year-old at the punishment meted out for his pre-season red card in Amsterdam that, through his agent Paul Stretford, Rooney has written to the Football Association threatening to withdraw his co-operation for the organisation's commercial project and also refusing to allow his image to be used as a marketing tool.

'I am devastated about the ban,' he said.

'To get banned, effectively four games because I missed the Ajax match in Amsterdam as well, for getting sent off in a friendly is a big blow.

'It seems you can't make a tackle these days, which is a shame, especially when you watch past games and see tackles flying in all over the place.'

Rooney's annoyance is understandable, particularly when he saw Michael Brown escape with nothing more than a yellow card for his horrific challenge on Ryan Giggs yesterday.

The letter, written in the strongest terms possible, was sent late last week with the full knowledge of United and with Rooney also aware of England coach Steve McClaren's belief the ban, imposed by an independent three-man disciplinary commission, was 'unhelpful' in fostering relations with major clubs.

While Rooney accepts there is no prospect of the punishment itself being overturned, he is hoping for better dialogue with the FA in matters of this kind.

It has been noted that while the FA were keen to liase with Rooney throughout his recovery from the broken foot which threatened his participation in this summer's World Cup, there has been no contact over his ban, even though Soho Square officials informed both the player and his club prior to the disciplinary hearing the former Everton player had nothing to fear.

Having taken legal advice, Rooney has hit back.

'Strong representation has been made to the FA regarding the imposition of this three-match ban, which Wayne Rooney feels strongly is entirely unjustified,' confirmed a source close to the Rooney camp.

Rooney is now awaiting a reply to the letter before deciding on his next course of action.