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Rooney to learn fate on Thursday

Wayne Rooney will discover whether the challenge to his two-match ban for offensive, insulting and/or abusive language has been successful on Thursday morning.

• Rooney contests punishment
• Rooney sorry for outburst
• Brewin on Rooney row

Rooney was handed the suspension by the Football Association after swearing into a television camera following his hat-trick goal against West Ham at the weekend.

At present, the striker will miss Saturday's Premier League game against Fulham as well as the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City at Wembley next weekend.

However, while Manchester United decided against contesting the charge itself, with Rooney having already publicly apologised for his behaviour, they are challenging the severity of the suspension.

United believe that a two-game ban is excessive punishment for Rooney's conduct and expected to hear the result of their challenge on Wednesday afternoon.

Following consultation between the club and the FA, though, the decision has been put back until Thursday morning to avoid disrupting United's preparations for their Champions League quarter-final fixture against Chelsea.

Rooney has the support of the Professional Footballers Association and chairman Gordon Taylor, who said: "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."

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