Rooney, second left, swore several times into the TV cameras after scoring his hat-trick last week [GALLO/GETTY]

Controversial Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has lost his appeal against a two-match ban imposed by the English Football Association for swearing into a TV camera.

Rooney will now miss United's upcoming English Premier League clash with Fulham as well as their FA Cup semifinal clash with Manchester City on April 16 after an appeal by the club was rejected.

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

Obscenities

The England striker, who quickly apologised for his outburst, has been punished by the FA for the four-letter rant into a live TV camera during United's 4-2 win at West Ham United in the Premier League on Saturday.

Rooney ran to the camera after completing his hat-trick from the penalty spot with his obscenities clearly heard by millions of viewers worldwide.

While United accepted the charge against Rooney of using abusive language they felt the suspension was excessive and appealed.

In a statement the FA said: "Rooney had admitted a charge for the use of offensive, insulting and/or abusive language, but claimed that the automatic penalty of two games was clearly excessive.

"The Commission did not accept the claim and Rooney will begin the standard two-match suspension with immediate effect."

In a statement issued through his spokesman, Rooney said: "I am gutted to miss two matches, I am not the first player to have sworn on TV and I won't be the last.

"Unlike others who have been caught swearing on camera, I apologised immediately. And yet I am the only person banned for swearing. That doesn't seem right."

Appeal

United also expressed dismay at the ban.

"Manchester United is clearly very disappointed with the decision," a club statement said. "The club put forward a very strong case to have the punishment reduced, which was unsuccessful."

United team-mate Rio Ferdinand meanwhile spoke out in defence of Rooney after Wednesday's Champions League tie, saying it was time to stop "lynching" the England striker.

Ferdinand's comments came as soft drinks giant Coca-Cola confirmed it had dropped Rooney from its advertising campaigns, a deal which had been worth $980,000 a year.

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

The first half of the season saw Rooney beset with injuries and poor form, 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 lead Arsenal by seven points at the top of the Premier League, but the Gunners have a game in hand.

Source: Agencies