|ESPNsoccernet: World Cup 2010|
Wayne Rooney has been warned he risks being sent off in the World Cup if he behaves as he did during England's warm-up victory over Platinum Stars.
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Within minutes of coming on as one of ten half-time replacements, Rooney subjected local referee Jeff Selogilwe to a tirade of abuse. He was reportedly unhappy that a string of fouls against England had gone unpunished.
"Rooney insulted me," Selogilwe told reporters. "He said, 'F*** you'. He's a good player when you see him on the television, but when you see him on the pitch he just keeps on insulting the referee.
"To me, it looks like Rooney insults people and fouls other players. If he insults a referee like me then he will use that vulgar language to other referees as well.
"He must learn to control his temper. He could get sent off in the World Cup, especially if he uses this kind of language."
Those comments will worry Fabio Capello, who is conscious that USA have been openly saying they are targeting Rooney's temperament as one of England's vulnerable areas.
But Jermain Defoe said Rooney's temper was "a good thing". "When you've got that fire in your belly as a player, if you take that away from him then he won't be the same player," he said.
Rooney himself refused to be drawn into the debate. "It was a good run-out," he said. "We're ready. These games, against Japan, Mexico and today, have been preparation games. The big one's now on Saturday and I just can't wait. The sooner it comes, the better."