Wayne Rooney says sorry for ‘wedding gatecrash’ episode
Wayne Rooney was thrown into the spotlight after The Sun alleged the Manchester United forward drunkenly gatecrashed a wedding at England’s hotel in Watford on Saturday.football Updated: Nov 17, 2016 17:59 IST
England football captain Wayne Rooney has apologised after “inappropriate” photos of him the worse for wear at the team hotel were published.
Interim manager Gareth Southgate said meanwhile that a review would be carried out of how players spend their free time while on international duty.
Rooney was thrown into the spotlight after The Sun tabloid alleged the Manchester United forward drunkenly gatecrashed a wedding at England’s hotel in Watford, north of London, on Saturday.
Rooney started England’s 3-0 World Cup qualifying win over Scotland on Friday, but suffered a knee injury that ruled him out of Tuesday’s 2-2 friendly draw at home to Spain.
A statement issued on Rooney’s behalf, said: “Naturally Wayne is sorry that pictures taken with fans have been published today.
“Although it was a day off for the whole squad and staff, he fully recognises that the images are inappropriate for someone in his position.”
The statement said Rooney had spoken to Southgate and FA technical director Dan Ashworth “to unreservedly apologise”.
“He would like to further extend that apology to any young fans who have seen these pictures.”
‘Review of players’ free time’
An FA spokesperson said: “All England personnel have a responsibility to behave appropriately at all times. We will be reviewing our policy around free time whilst on international duty.”
Southgate was adamant that Rooney had not been left out of the Spain game as a disciplinary measure.
“Wayne picked up an injury in the game (against Scotland) on Friday,” said Southgate. “He couldn’t train on Sunday and that’s it.”
Southgate, who is still waiting to hear whether he will get the England job full time, said he would review players’ free time. “Over the last few years, the players have been allowed to go home during a period of time,” Southgate told reporters after England’s 2-2 friendly draw with Spain at Wembley.
“They trained Saturday morning and they trained again on Sunday afternoon, and I gave the players a period of time off (in between). I’m not aware of anything else.
“There were lots of changes we made to routines. Some things we thought we should keep the same and I’ll have to review (it) — or maybe I won’t have to review! Someone will have to review it.”
Rooney’s representatives have indicated that he believes he has been an unfair victim of the incessant media glare around top footballers.
A Rooney spokesman said: “As he has always been, Wayne was happy to sign (autographs), pose for photos and chat with guests.
“It is sad that one or two of them have now sought to turn Wayne’s friendly good nature to their advantage.”
Rooney was recalled by Southgate for the win over Scotland, having been dropped for England’s goalless draw in Slovenia, after winning back his place in the United first team.
His status with both club and country appears uncertain as concerns grow over the 31-year-old’s waning powers.