Rooney slams unfair treatment by media

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney

He says reaction to his partying disgraceful and disrespectful; FA studying time-off curbs

LONDON • Wayne Rooney has condemned his treatment as "disgraceful" and says he has been shown a lack of respect after the publication of photographs that showed him out late when on England duty.

The pictures were printed by an English newspaper after the forward joined a wedding party following England's World Cup qualifying victory against Scotland.

It was reported that the England captain was out socialising until the early hours of Nov 13 and the fallout rumbled along all last week, drawing negative headlines and comment.

The 31-year-old later offered an unconditional apology for the "inappropriate" images but he has been the subject of widespread criticism both on social media and in print.

The Manchester United captain clearly has had enough and on Saturday hit out in strident terms at what he believes is unfair treatment.

THEY'VE GONE TOO FAR

Enough is enough. It feels as if the media are trying to write my obituary and I won't let that happen. I love playing for my country.

WAYNE ROONEY, England and Manchester United captain, on what he deems to be excessive criticism over his social life during international get-togethers.

"What's been going on is disgraceful," he said in the immediate aftermath of United's 1-1 draw with Arsenal.

"I'm proud to play for my country and I'm proud of my achievements. It's not finished yet. I think what's been going on is disgraceful. It shows a lack of respect and I think enough is enough."

He went on: "It feels as if the media are trying to write my obituary and I won't let that happen.

"I love playing for my country and I am proud of my achievements to date - but I have not finished yet."

Jose Mourinho, his manager, defended him on Friday and blamed Gareth Southgate, the interim England boss, for not protecting him.

"The only thing I say is the player goes to the national team, he belongs to the national team. I learnt since I was a kid, if someone lends me something I have to take care of it even better than if it was mine."

Despite calls to strip Rooney of the England captaincy, the Football Association is not minded to do so or impose other formal punishments - leaving Rooney's international future to be decided by the next permanent manager.

That is set to be Southgate, who will be handed the role barring a calamitous job interview.

Rooney was not the only England footballer out in the wee hours of Nov 13. The Sun reported yesterday that Liverpool midfielders Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana visited a strip club in Bournemouth.

According to Press Association Sport, Henderson, a teetotaller, drank only water at the strip club and spent the next day with friends.

When contacted, the Football Association said it is in the process of reviewing its policy over players' free time while on England duty.

THE GUARDIAN, THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 21, 2016, with the headline 'Rooney slams unfair treatment by media'. Print Edition | Subscribe