Rooney apol­o­gises over im­ages that force FA con­duct re­view

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Handed the cap­taincy of Eng­land and Manch­ester United, Wayne Rooney curbed his once wild be­hav­iour that landed him in trou­ble.

But at 31, and as a fa­ther-ofthree, Rooney's con­duct is un­der scru­tiny again.

Once again, he has been forced to is­sue an apol­ogy just as he is strug­gling to hold a place in United and Eng­land start­ing line­ups.

The state­ment of con­tri­tion to the Eng­land man­age­ment and fans came af­ter Rooney dropped into a wed­ding tak­ing place at the Eng­land team ho­tel on Satur­day night. Pic­tures of the blearyeyed striker were pub­lished with guests.

Rooney, who played in Fri­day's World Cup qual­i­fy­ing win over Scot­land, was off duty at the time but the be­hav­ior of Eng­land's all­time top scorer is still trou­bling the team man­age­ment.

Rooney ac­knowl­edged the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion's con­cerns.

"Nat­u­rally Wayne is sorry that pic­tures taken with fans have been pub­lished to­day," Rooney's man­age­ment team said in re­sponse to a front-page story in The Sun news­pa­per. "Although it was a day off for the whole squad and staff, he fully rec­og­nizes that the im­ages are in­ap­pro­pri­ate for some­one in his po­si­tion.

"Ear­lier to­day Wayne spoke pri­vately to both (in­terim man­ager) Gareth South­gate and (tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor) Dan Ash­worth to un­re­servedly apol­o­gize. He would like to fur­ther ex­tend that apol­ogy to any young fans who have seen these pic­tures."

When asked about the pic­tures af­ter Tues­day's draw with Spain, South­gate in­sisted Rooney's ab­sence from the friendly was due to an in­jury sus­tained in Fri­day's win over Scot­land rather than be­ing the re­sult of The Sun's story.

But the FA said yes­ter­day: "All Eng­land per­son­nel have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to be­have ap­pro­pri­ately at all times. We will be re­view­ing our pol­icy around free time whilst on in­ter­na­tional duty."

Rooney has en­dured a check­ered ca­reer. Once the golden boy of English soc­cer who burst onto the in­ter­na­tional scene with four goals at Euro 2004, Rooney's im­pact has been on the wane as age has slowed him.

Rooney has also strug­gled to shake off his bad-boy im­age.

Rooney's stock fell so low that an English town burned a 30-foot ef­figy of him in 2010 af­ter he was ac­cused of cheat­ing on his wife with a pros­ti­tute and pub­licly threat­ened to quit United. In the same year, then-Eng­land man­ager Fabio Capello warned Rooney about his off-field con­duct af­ter he was pic­tured uri­nat­ing and smok­ing in the street at the end of a night out.

His tem­per has caused prob­lems on the field. He was sent off for stamp­ing on a Por­tu­gal player at the 2010 World Cup and vented to pitch-side cam­eras at the 2010 World Cup and while play­ing for United in 2011 which earned him a two-match ban.

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