Gary Neville hits out at English FA for how they handled the Wayne Rooney controversy

The England captain was photographed partying late into the night while on international duty

BY Sinéad Farrell 17:05 Sunday 18 December 2016, 17:05 18 Dec 2016

Lynne Cameron PA Archive/PA Images

Gary Neville has spoken out against the English Football Association for their handling of the incident regarding Wayne Rooney attending a wedding late into the night while on international duty.

Neville said he had no issue with the incident being reported, but accused the FA of 'fanning the flames' in how they handled the situation.

Neville told Sky Sports:

"My issue is how it was dealt with by the FA and by the team. I’d like to think that when we were there, the idea that Wayne was – I don’t know if he was pushed out to apologise or guided to apologise – to me that would have been a [case of] collective responsibility."

"When you talk about fanning the flames, that’s exactly what the FA did that week. Martin Glenn came out and said he would start an investigation – disaster, that was a disastrous statement. It’s not an investigation, it’s a phone call to say, 'What happened?'"

"Roy gave the players nights off for four years every Saturday night after a Friday game before Tuesday."

"There was never an incident reported. You might argue it was lucky, but what Roy did very well on the Friday night was to make it very clear what was acceptable and what wasn’t acceptable on the Saturday night and they were still on duty even though they were off duty. When you do have an incident you don’t throw the guy overboard. You don’t say 'get out there and apologise.' 

Neville added that Rooney's teammates should have been told to share the responsibility with the captain and acknowledge that he was not the only player who was out socialising after England's game against Scotland last month.

"Some coaching staff were with him I believe it was reported – and other players were out in different areas of the city or different areas of the country. You all come together and say 'we all made a mistake, it wasn’t just Wayne, we’re all in it together.' I was disappointed to see Rooney have to come out and apologise when actually there were other players out on the same night probably doing the same things."

"Should he in future think about what he does on that Saturday night? Absolutely, I’m sure he won’t do that mistake again. He has made a mistake because he’s exposed himself to people he couldn’t trust. Privately he should have been probably given a massive telling-off but publicly don’t expose him."

Rooney shipped a lot of criticism after photos of him attending a wedding after the World Cup qualifier were published in a national newspaperRooney defended his position in the aftermath, labelling the negative reaction as 'disgraceful.' 


Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week