Wayne Rooney could escape with a slap on the wrist for his irresponsible F-word outburst that was aired live on Sky Sports at the weekend.
The Manchester United striker will discover on Monday whether he will be punished for his foul-mouthed rant straight into a Sky camera after completing his hat-trick from the penalty spot in Saturday's 4-2 victory against West Ham at Upton Park.
Rooney was heard to use the F-word twice the first after he converted his third goal and the second when he appeared to respond to a remark made off-camera.
Read Patrick Collins's verdict: Rooney'sfoul-mouthed tirade makes an instant mockery of new Respect campaign
Swear box: Rooney took the shine off his hat-trick with a foul-mouthed rant directed at the television cameras
But it is likely he will receive aticking off and be warned over his future conduct because of hispublic apology, released by the club later that afternoon.
FA chiefs resisted the temptation toact on the matter over the weekend so they could allow the wholedisciplinary team to analyse the footage thoroughly before passing judgment. Sportsmail also understands there was a fearwithin the FA that making a snap decision to charge the England strikercould lead to litigation from United.
The FA could charge the Englandforward with bringing the game into disrepute and, even though they maynot come down hard on him, it is understood senior FA chiefs are dismayed with his behaviour.
FA director Sir Trevor Brooking said: 'There will be a decision. It was a surprise,after scoring a hat-trick, to react that way. It's something we willhave to look at.'
In the corner: Rooney scores his first with a delightful free-kick
The Premier League's global appealmeans the footage has already been aired all over the world and thesight of Rooney swearing on television has tainted the image offootball in this country a view that is not lost on the FA's topbrass.
The FA are also annoyed at thetiming of Rooney's rant. Just last week the Premier League revealed anew initiative to crack down on vitriolic abuse towards referees fromnext season, while FA chairman David Bernstein threw his weight behindSportsmail's Stamp It Out campaign aimed at eradicating disrespectfuland intimidating behaviour towards officials.
It is not the first time Rooney hasfound himself in trouble for speaking into a camera. He criticisedbooing England fans after the dismal 0-0 draw against Algeria in theWorld Cup last summer and said: 'Nice to see your home fans booing you.That's loyal supporters.' Again, he later apologised for his comments.
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, meanwhile, was given a four-match Champions League ban by UEFA for hisX-rated verbal attack on referee Tom Henning Ovrebo following hisside's dramatic Champions League exit to Barcelona in 2009. Drogbaharangued Ovrebo after the final whistle, called the official a'f***ing disgrace' live on Sky and had to be led away by team-mates.
Previous form: Rooney unleashes a tirade at Green Point stadium after England's dismal goalless draw with Algeria
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Explore more:People: Alex Ferguson, Steve Bruce, Trevor Brooking, Wayne Rooney Places: Algeria, United Kingdom