Wayne Rooney has admitted an FA charge of using abusive language but has lodged a claim against the severity of his two-match suspension.
The Football Association confirmed that they had received a submission from Manchester United and the case will be heard tomorrow afternoon.
If Rooney’s claim fails he runs the risk of having a suspension that currently includes Saturday’s Premier League encounter with Fulham and the following week’s FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City at Wembley extended.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow night's Champions League quarter-final with Chelsea, Alex Ferguson made it clear he did not want to discuss the matter.
“I have nothing to say. I am not going to discuss it at all,” he said. “We have submitted our case.”
Rooney was kept out of the open session of training this morning to shield him from the cameras, although Ferguson did confirm he also had treatment for a bruised shin.
That should not keep him out of tomorrow’s game though, by which time he will know the punishment he will face.
“Manchester United player Wayne Rooney has today admitted a charge for the use of offensive, insulting and/or abusive language,” said an FA statement.
“However, Rooney has submitted a claim that the automatic penalty of two games is clearly excessive. A commission will hear the submission tomorrow (Wednesday).
“The charge relates to an incident during his side’s fixture with West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday 2 April 2011.”
Players chief Gordon Taylor has questioned the Football Association’s decision to charge Wayne Rooney for swearing into a TV camera after his hat-trick against West Ham.
Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Taylor entered the debate today by issuing a statement on the PFA website.
It read: “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.
“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.
“If sanctions are to be imposed in such circumstances then this has to be done in a balanced and consistent manner, and participants made aware of this fundamental change in approach.”
The charge was described on the PFA’s website as being “unprecedented” and, if upheld, would set a “dangerous precedent” leading to a greater number of players being dismissed.
PFA deputy chief executive John Bramhall said: “I think it puts them (the FA) in a difficult position if they do set a precedent that using foul and abusive language on the field of play is to be treated in this way.
“Then it could lead to a very serious situation with regards to our members, who in previous seasons have been working with an acceptance level, a tolerance level which clearly has now been changed.
“None of the participants in the game have been involved in the discussions even though there have been on-going discussions between all the stakeholders within the game looking at what is acceptable within the game.”
Bramhall believes the language the fans used at Upton Park would have “eclipsed” anything Rooney said.
He said: “The use of foul and abusive language in itself is not something we would condone but is not necessarily something that would result in a sanction on the field of play. It is usually when it is directed at a match official and showing a lack of respect.
“This is a guy who scored three goals in 14 minutes and brought his team back from the brink of defeat. It was a spontaneous outburst as a result of that.
“As with games at very high level he has a camera crew within inches of him, looking for some sort of reaction. They caught something that was inappropriate.
“I am not sure the number of complaints Sky received, it would be interesting to see those figures.
“But in a football environment the spectators would be using language for the vast majority of the game that would eclipse it.”
Bramhall believes Rooney has paid the price for being such a high-profile figure.
He said: “There is greater emphasis on the players at the top end of our game. This is a player who has the greatest media attention and quite clearly if you are looking at this one incident it has not been applied before to any player but it has on this occasion.
“That is why the camera crew went round to the side of the goal in the hope he would score and they would be able to see a reaction that shows the true passion in the game and what makes it the spectacle it is.
“Clearly sometimes on a spontaneous basis that goes beyond what is deemed to be acceptable. He quickly apologised. If he quickly apologises he also felt it was unacceptable.”
Bramhall added: “I think you could use this as a platform to move forward to look at the whole issue, looking at guidelines, looking at all parties, not just players but managers, supporters, coaches.
“We need to look at what levels of language are deemed to be acceptable. If it is not acceptable then guidelines should be laid down as to what is and what actions will be taken in the future.”