Rooney faces axe from team over latest prostitute claims
Published 06/09/2010 | 05:00
JUST when the England football team were hoping to put behind them a series of off-field scandals that many believe contributed to their woeful performance at this year's World Cup, their star striker Wayne Rooney yesterday became the latest to face accusations about his private life.
As a result, coach Fabio Capello may drop him from a Euro 2012 qualifying match tomorrow night.
And on a second successive weekend of allegations against Pakistani cricketers, the 'News of the World' claimed that a fourth unnamed player was being investigated by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
It was in the same paper that an escort girl claimed she repeatedly slept with Wayne Rooney while his wife, Coleen, was pregnant.
Jennifer Thompson (21), who charges her clients £1,200 (€1,400) a night, claimed that on one occasion the footballer asked her to come to his family home for intercourse, while his wife was away. She says she rejected the offer out of respect for Ms Rooney (24), who gave birth to a son, Kai, in November.
The Rooneys declined to comment on the allegations.
News of the striker's alleged misdemeanours come at a time when three England footballers already have injunctions preventing the media from publishing details of their private lives.
Yesterday, Football Association (FA) officials tried to allay concerns that the striker would miss tomorrow's match against Switzerland in Berne, but Capello is privately concerned and will consider Rooney's state of mind before deciding whether to include him in the team.
Before the scandal broke it was expected that Rooney would be one of the players to answer questions at a press conference yesterday.
In the end those duties fell to his teammates James Milner and Adam Johnson.
But officials stressed that the Manchester United star, who finally rediscovered some of his pre-World Cup form during England's 4-0 win over Bulgaria last Friday, would fly out with the team today. The striker has not scored in his past 11 international matches but was instrumental in setting up all four goals against Bulgaria.
Milner did his best to avoid questions on Rooney's state of mind, but, according to reports, the player is "devastated" by the allegations.
"Things are always said in the paper, good things, bad things, about the England team when results are going well and when they're not going well," Milner said. "You have highs, you have lows, and it's down to us to make sure the only thing that matters is on the field, to come together and make sure we get the result.
"I think it's important we go out and win matches and control ourselves on the field and off the field as best we can."
Meanwhile, allegations of a cricket betting scandal first surfaced last week when the paper secretly recorded prominent businessman Mazhar Majeed claiming that he could have players bowl no-balls at specific moments during matches.
The revelations have sparked one of the largest corruption investigations in cricket's history. Three Pakistani players -- captain Salman Butt and fast-bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aame -- have been questioned by police, suspended from the team and charged by the ICC.
The paper claimed yesterday that money found in Butt's hotel room was part of the same £150,000 (€180,000) bundle given to Mr Majeed.
It also published details of an undercover conversation with the Pakistani batsman Yasir Hameed, claiming that he lost his place in the squad because he refused to take bribes from corrupt bookies. (© Independent News Service)