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Weekend Premier League predictions

Premier League
By ESPN Staff

Brooking backs FA's Rooney ban

Football Association director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking believes his organisation's decision to suspend Wayne Rooney for two matches for swearing has the support of almost everyone he has come across at the grassroots level of the game.

• Scholes: Rooney a scapegoat
• O'Shea questions Nani exclusion

The Manchester United and England forward missed Saturday's Premier League win over Fulham and will also have to sit out next Saturday's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City at Wembley after he swore into a television camera during his side's 4-2 win at West Ham last weekend.

The decision to ban Rooney was heavily criticised by his United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who claimed the FA had changed their stance on swearing "midstream'' in the season following comments from Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore about the need for better behaviour generally from players and managers in the English top flight.

Brooking insisted that was not the case and told the Murnaghan programme on Sky News: "I think that was pretty venomous, straight into a camera at lunchtime on a Saturday, and at the time I thought 'am I being old-fashioned about it?' but during the week I have had quite a few people come up to me and almost unanimously everyone have said the FA got that right.

"That's mainly people in the grassroots, dads, granddads like I am, that really just think something like that sends the wrong message out.''

Brooking called for the game's major governing bodies to formulate clear disciplinary guidelines over the summer to ensure everyone in the game knows where they stand.

"The powers that be have got to sit down and say 'look, to help everyone you've got to get a consistency, for the referee so they know whatever decision they take there is going to be a general support from the different bodies that are represented','' he added.

"You have got to be consistent, that would be the biggest get-out from the footballing point of view, so-and-so got sent off last week and the same thing happened, so we have got to be consistent.

"From the referees' point of view they have got to understand what that means and then hopefully over a period of time when you see the Football League spokesman or FA spokesman and they are all saying different things, which you've just portrayed, that hopefully should be something from the past next season.''


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