Coca-Cola axes Man Utd's Rooney

LONDON, April 6, 2011 (AFP) - Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola on Wednesday confirmed it had dropped Manchester United star Wayne Rooney from its advertising campaigns following a string of unsavoury incidents.

The forward scored United's goal in Wednesday's 1-0 win against fellow English club Chelsea in the Champions League quarter-final, but will now be £600,000 (683,000 euros, $980,000) a year worse off after being dumped as the face of Coke Zero.

The England striker was initially dropped by the company in September after it was alleged he used a prostitute, and it was confirmed Wednesday that his contract would not be renewed following Saturday's foul-mouthed rant to a television camera.

"Our contract with Wayne Rooney came to an end last year and we mutually agreed that we would not renew our relationship," the drinks manufacturer said in a statement. "We wish Wayne well in his career."

England's Football Association slapped a two match ban on the volatile 25-year-old after he repeatedly swore into the pitch-side while celebrating his third goal in Manchester United's 4-2 win at West Ham.

Rooney's career has been marred by behavioural problems including previous allegations of using prostitutes and swearing down the camera at England fans after their 0-0 draw with Algeria in last year's World Cup finals.

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