- Associated Press - Thursday, April 7, 2011

LONDON (AP) - Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney lost his appeal Thursday against a two-match ban for swearing into a television camera, ruling him out of the FA Cup semifinals against Manchester City.

Rooney said the punishment handed to him was “clearly excessive,” but the Football Association’s regulatory commission upheld the decision.

The England striker said he is “gutted” to miss Saturday’s home game against Fulham in the Premier League and the semifinal match against City a week later.

“I am not the first player to have sworn on TV and I won’t be the last,” Rooney said. “Unlike others who have been caught swearing on camera, I apologized immediately. And yet I am the only person banned for swearing. That doesn’t seem right.

“Whatever, I have to accept that what’s happened has happened and move on from here. That is what I intend to do.”

United said the club is “clearly very disappointed” with the decision.

Rooney shouted an expletive directly into the camera Saturday after scoring a penalty kick, which completed his hat trick as United rallied from 2-0 down to beat West Ham 4-2.

The 25-year-old striker apologized after the game, saying his conduct was “inappropriate.” The host broadcaster, Sky Sports, also made an on-air apology to its viewers.

Rooney’s ban came just as he was starting to rediscover his form. His goal in United’s 1-0 victory over Chelsea in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals Wednesday was his 10th in all competitions since the start of February.

The first half of the season saw Rooney beset with injuries and poor performance, while he also had personal problems off the field, stemming from media allegations that he cheated on his then-pregnant wife with a prostitute.

United leads Arsenal by seven points at the top of the Premier League, but the Gunners have a game in hand.

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