(Reuters) - England and Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has been dropped by his sponsor Coca-Cola from an advertising campaign following media allegations about his private life.
The 24-year-old forward, who has endured intense media scrutiny in recent weeks, will continue to work with Coca-Cola on other projects but his face will not appear on cans and bottles of Coke Zero in a promotion to run in Britain until 2011.
A statement from Coca-Cola on Monday read: “Last month we amended our marketing plans on Coke Zero. Given the situation at that time we did not feel it was appropriate to run an on-pack promotion featuring Wayne Rooney.”
“Our relationship with Wayne Rooney is ongoing. We are currently working with Wayne on Coke Zero Street Striker — an award winning programme which over the past 3 years has encouraged thousands of young people to get involved in football.”
The decision on whether Rooney’s face will return to Coke’s cans and bottles in the future has yet to be made, the company added.
Rooney, who on Monday was named in England’s Euro 2012 qualifying squad for their match at home to Montenegro on 12 October after recovering from an ankle injury, has been in patchy form this season after hitting 34 goals in the last campaign.
Last month United manager Alex Ferguson left him out of his side’s Premier League match with former club Everton to avoid fan abuse.
Rooney’s deal with the world’s largest soft drink maker is worth 600,000 pounds ($949,000), according to media reports. The striker was reported in the British media to have been unfaithful with prostitutes while his wife was pregnant.