Sat, Oct 14, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Rooney in ruckus with England fan

AFP , LONDON

England striker Wayne Rooney was involved in a row with a supporter after his side's Euro 2008 qualifying defeat in Croatia, it was revealed on Thursday.

Rooney, 20, was the target of an angry England fan who abused the Manchester United star as he boarded the team coach at the Maksimir stadium in Zagreb on Wednesday.

The fan's criticism provoked a reaction from Rooney, who is alleged to have responded in an aggressive manner.

Rooney's spokesman confirmed the incident had taken place but insisted the former Everton player had been under extreme provocation.

The spokesman said: "Any gesture Wayne may have made was directed to one, and only one, particular England fan, whose behavior towards him appalled the other England players who saw it and horrified the rest of the England fans."

"Wayne has total respect for England fans. He accepts and understands their disappointment at last night's result," he said.

The clash is the latest blow for Rooney, who has been in poor form for club and country this season and was again below his best as Steve McClaren's team slumped to a 2-0 defeat in Zagreb.

He has now gone over two years since his last goal in a competitive match for England and some pundits believe he should be dropped by McClaren.

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