LONDON – Wayne Rooney acknowledged using offensive language during a Premier League game but will appeal his automatic two-match ban.
England's Football Association said Tuesday the Manchester United striker deemed the punishment "clearly excessive."
The governing body will hear Rooney's appeal Wednesday. If Rooney's appeal fails he risks further discipline in addition to his suspension for Saturday's league match against Fulham and the following week's FA Cup semifinal against Manchester City.
During Man United's victory over West Ham on Saturday, Rooney cursed into a television camera after scoring his third goal. United is chasing the league, FA Cup and Champions League trophies.
Gordon Taylor, who is chief executive of the players' union, has questioned the FA's decision to cite Rooney.
"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," Taylor said. "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."
The FA's action was described on the Professional Footballers' Association website as "unprecedented" and, if upheld, would set a "dangerous precedent" leading to a greater number of players being dismissed.
"If sanctions are to be imposed in such circumstances then this has to be done in a balanced and consistent manner," Taylor said. "And participants made aware of this fundamental change in approach."