Wayne Rooney Curses Out Referee, Gives Jersey To Apologize

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↵When the biggest star in England curses out a referee, it's going to make some news. Wayne Rooney reportedly said "f--- you" to Jeff Selogilwe, the referee of England's friendly against a local South African club called Platinum Stars, leading said referee to say he was "very disappointed" in Rooney. Selogilwe also suggested to the assembled media that he thinks if Rooney treats the World Cup referees with such little respect, he should expect to be sent off. ↵

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↵⇥"Rooney insulted me," said Selogilwe. "He said: 'F--- you.' He is a good player when you see him on the television, but when you see him on the pitch he just keeps on insulting the referee. To me, it looks like Rooney insults people and fouls other players. If he insults a referee like me, then he will use that vulgar language to other referees as well. He must learn to control his temper. He could get sent off in the World Cup, especially if he uses this kind of language." ↵
↵Selogilwe rightly suggested that perhaps the English side felt a bit entitled in their friendly against a local squad, leading to his own mistreatment by Rooney. Oh, he also made sure to mention that Rooney was his favorite player and that the expletive sent his was followed by an apology in the form of some pretty nice swag. ↵
↵⇥"I was very disappointed in Rooney because he is my favourite player, but he will still be my favourite player. He apologised to me and gave me the shirt he was wearing at the end." ↵
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↵I hope Rooney had the decency to sign it. ↵

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↵Let's not forget one important thing, by the way. We posted a story yesterday that called the character of Carlos Eugenio Simon, the referee in charge of the U.S–England match, into question. Add in Rooney's latest outburst toward an official and there's a good chance the English striker will be getting a lot of attention from Simon on Saturday. U.S. defender Jay DeMerit, who has played against Rooney in the Premiership, doesn't think it will be that easy to get under his skin this weekend: ↵

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↵⇥"We all understand the type of player he is and his world-class ability. The preparations for him in particular, of course, are going to be high. The team knows that you try to wind Rooney up, that's been out there already. ↵⇥

↵⇥"But I think he's learned over the years, with people telling him, that's an easy way to get at him. I don't think it's as easy to wind Rooney up as people think it is." ↵⇥

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↵Again…corrupt referee, plus striker with a penchant for outburst, plus a team that plans to "wind him up"…all equals the bettors having a field day with this one. On Bwin.com, the current odds for more than 4.5 yellow cards in the U.S.–England match are actually worse than odds for the under (you'd win 16.50 on a bet of 10 euros for over 4.5 yellow cards and 21 euros on the same bet for under 4.5 yellow cards.) ↵

↵Just to be safe, the English striker might want to stay on his best behavior on Saturday. That said, if the referee really is on the take, he's getting better odds for fewer bookings. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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