Rooney had it coming, insists ex-ref Winter

FORMER top-flight referee Jeff Winter has praised chiefs for throwing the book at Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney and blasted those who have tried to make light of his foul-mouthed outburst.

The Football Association yesterday upheld Rooney’s two-match ban for swearing repeatedly into a live TV camera at West Ham on Saturday, meaning he will miss the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City this month.

“I’ve been amazed that people within the football world have tried to water it down and say it’s just emotion, part of the game,” Winter told City A.M. “I’m delighted the FA have taken their stance and if they continue to run the game with power then perhaps we’ll see an improvement in standards.”

Winter, helping trial shin pads with anti-diving technology for Texaco’s Proper Footy campaign, says the FA should also be tough on simulation.

“Retrospective action has got to be taken,” he added. “What I’d like to see is if a player got a three-match ban for diving and then did it again that season it should be a four-match ban, and the next time five.

“If that doesn’t act as a deterrent then nothing ever will.”