Following pleas from Wayne Rooney and England boss Fabio Capello to lessen the striker’s punishment for his red card against Montenegro, UEFA officials have decided to issue the severe suspension of a three-match ban, meaning that Rooney will miss all of England’s group matches.
His kick to Montenegro player Dzudovic has been ruled as an assault, and as such he has been given the harshest punishment available. The FA is said to be shocked by the decision, and is considering appealing against it.
Now Fabio Capello faces the difficult decision of whether or not to take his star player with him to the Euro 2012 tournament as, if current form is considered, England may find it tough to even advance past the group stages.
The FA are said to be shocked by the decision and are expected to appeal, although the classification of Rooney’s actions as an assault means that it is unlikely that UEFA will back down. Former England stars took to Twitter to express their thoughts on the controversy, with Rooney’s Manchester United comrade Michael Owen branding it “harsh” and Phil Neville calling the UEFA’s decision a “joke”; “if it was a Dutch, Spanish, Italian, German player they wouldn't even get one" he wrote.
Capello previously raised doubts as to whether the striker would make the starting 11 in the summer tournament, but as he is one of few genuinely world-class players in the squad it is unquestionable that he would’ve traveled to Poland along with the rest of the squad. However, now Capello will have to consider different attacking combinations, and must consider whether or not it is worth bringing Rooney along for the trip when there is a chance that he might not make it onto the pitch.
Capello will be meeting with FA officials to deliberate over their appeal, but a firm decision regarding Rooney’s involvement in Euro 2012 will not be announced until after the draw in Kyiv on 2 December.
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