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Rooney ban upheld

Wayne Rooney has lost his appeal against a two-match ban handed down by the Football Association, meaning he will not be available to face Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

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Rooney was handed the suspension by the FA after swearing into a television camera following the penalty kick that completed his hat-trick against West Ham which completed a turnaround from a two-goal deficit.

The striker will miss Saturday's Premier League game against Fulham as well as the FA Cup semi-final against City next weekend.

Rooney said through his spokesman, Ian Monk: "I am gutted to miss two matches, one of which is an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. I am not the first player to have sworn on TV and I won't be the last.

"Unlike others who have been caught swearing on camera, I apologised immediately. And yet I am the only person banned for swearing. That doesn't seem right."

United decided against contesting the charge itself, with Rooney having already publicly apologised for his behaviour, but they challenged the length of the suspension.

A statement issued by the FA read: "A Regulatory Commission has suspended Manchester United's Wayne Rooney for two matches. Rooney had admitted a charge for the use of offensive, insulting and / or abusive language, but claimed that the automatic penalty of two games was clearly excessive. "The Commission did not accept the claim and Rooney will begin the standard two match suspension with immediate effect. The charge relates to an incident during his side's fixture with West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday 2 April 2011."

United responded on their official website: "Manchester United is clearly very disappointed with the Regulatory Commission's decision. The club put forward a very strong case to have the punishment reduced, which was unsuccessful.

"Wayne Rooney apologised immediately after the match and the club now wishes to move to on to what hopefully will be a very exciting conclusion to the season."

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini said in his press conference on Thursday afternoon that he was disappointed Rooney would not take part in the FA Cup semi-final.

"I am disappointed because when we play a game like this it is important all the best players play," he said. "Should the FA punish players in this way? I do not know. I think the managers and players here have a lot of respect for the referee and the FA."


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