Rooney didn’t dive for penalty, says Hodgson
England manager Roy Hodgson insists his national team skipper Wayne Rooney did not dive to win Manchester United a penalty in their FA Cup fifth round victory against Preston.
Replays on television appeared to suggest there was minimal contact on Rooney as he tumbled under a challenge from Preston keeper Thorsten Stuckmann in the 87th minute of a tie United won 3-1 at Deepdale.
“It’s not a dive for me, I think Rooney was just taking evasive action there,” Hodgson told the BBC.
“If you’re refereeing the game in the run of play, without all the replays we’ve now seen, I don’t think anybody would have said that’s not a penalty.
“The goalkeeper’s come out very rashly, gone in with both feet, and Wayne’s touched the ball past him.”
The laws of the game state a penalty will be awarded if a challenge is considered to be “careless, reckless or using excessive force”.
There was little doubt that the lunge on Rooney in the box from Stuckmann fell into that category, which sparked these comments from former United defender Phil Neville.
“When the keeper is flying out he has to get out the way,” he said.
“You might say it’s a dive, but if he left his leg there it would be a leg breaker. He had to dive. He had to get out of the way or else he would have snapped his leg.”
Meanwhile, Preston manager Simon Grayson suggested the laws of the game surrounding the decision to give the penalty to Rooney were more than a little confusing.
“I am not saying it wasn’t a penalty,” said Grayson. “I am saying there was no contact. Wayne has not been touched by the goalkeeper. Yes, he has had to jump out of the way, but he has not been touched.
“You can interpret that how you want, but it wasn’t a dive. He has gone to get out of the way and took evasive action. I am not complaining.”
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
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