Wayne Rooney has been ditched by Coca-Cola after swearing into the cameras during Saturday’s match against West Ham. However his team-mate Rio Ferdinand has spoken out, saying that the incident has been blown out of proportion.
Rooney’s Coca-Cola deal was worth £2.5million to the football star.
Coca-Cola decided to end Rooney’s £600,000-a-year contract after the Manchester United player said “fuck” into the camera several times as he celebrated a goal.
Rooney has already been given a two-match ban for the outburst, but the loss of his Coca-Cola contract – which made up a quarter of his sponsorship income – will come as a blow.
Wayne Rooney swears into the camera during the West Ham gam on Saturday.
Drinks giant Cola-Cola has already had problems with using Rooney as the face of their advertising campaigns. Last October the footballer was slammed as “disgusting” by the brand’s US bosses for allegedly sleeping with two prostitutes while his wife, Coleen, was pregnant.
At the time Cola-Cola temporarily pulled Rooney from its advertising promotions but did not cut ties with him.
However, Rooney’s latest swearing furore has proved too much and, after four years, Coca-Cola has ditched him permanently from its campaigns.
Rooney’s behaviour on the pitch has sparked mixed reaction.
The FA charged Rooney with “use of offensive, insulting and/or abusive language” before slapping him with the two-game ban.
On learning that Rooney has lost his Cola-Cola contract, Margaret Morrissey, of the Parents Outloud campaign group, said: “These footballers are held in high esteem by this nation’s youngsters and there is an onus on them to show a decent face to the children.
“I am extremely happy that Coca-Cola has severed links with Wayne Rooney and I hope other companies take note.”
However, Manchester United team-mate Rio Ferdinand has defended Rooney, saying that the incident has been blown out of proportion.
“Wayne Rooney swearing on TV, as much as I don’t condone it, is not front page news,” Ferdinand said.
“There are bigger things going on in the world. There are things happening in Libya and Ivory Coast and we are talking about Wayne Rooney on the front page of newspapers because he swore at a camera.
“We should follow him as a footballer rather than keep lynching him for a lot of the stuff that goes on.”
Wayne Rooney and James Corden in a Coca-Cola ad.