Football: Rooney cleared over drinking storm, say reports but he slams media 'witch hunt'

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney reacts during a match between Manchester United and Feyenoord on Nov 24, 2016.
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney reacts during a match between Manchester United and Feyenoord on Nov 24, 2016.PHOTO: EPA

LONDON (AFP) - England captain Wayne Rooney has been cleared after the Football Association (FA) investigated reports he stayed up late drinking while on international duty, British media outlets reported on Saturday.

The 31-year-old apologised for the publication of "inappropriate" pictures of him mingling with wedding guests at England's team hotel between their recent games against Scotland and Spain.

But the Manchester United captain described media coverage of the incident as "disgraceful" and said he felt he had been the victim of a witch hunt.

Several news organisations, including the BBC, said Rooney had been assured by the FA he would not face charges over the matter.

The Daily Mirror said the FA had learnt that Rooney posed for pictures outside the wedding party venue, contradicting reports he had 'gate-crashed' it, and had not broken a curfew.

Rooney is on the brink of history, having closed to within one goal of Bobby Charlton's United scoring record of 249 goals by netting in Thursday's 4-0 Europa League win over Feyenoord.

He surpassed Charlton's record of 49 goals for England last year and has to date scored 51 times for his country.

The FA is also looking into claims that several players were out late on the Saturday night that fell between England's 3-0 World Cup qualifying win over Scotland and 2-2 friendly draw with Spain.

The FA has since banned England players from going on nights out while on international duty.