After Manchester United crashed out of the Champions League last night at the hands of Basel, Wayne Rooney finally has something to celebrate today as it has been announced that his three-match Euro 2012 ban has been shorted to a two-match ban.
Rooney headed to the UEFA headquarters in Nyon to appeal the punishment, and as he exited it was revealed that his request for the ban to be reduced was successful. An FA spokesperson said of the decision: "UEFA have confirmed that the final match of Wayne Rooney's three-game ban has been suspended for four years."
This means that if Rooney were to be punished for any more transgressions in the next four years in an UEFA-sanctioned match, which includes Euro 2012 and Euro 2016 but not friendlies and World Cup qualifiers (they are FIFA’s territory), he would face the one-game ban at a later date. However, Rooney is unlikely to worry about this at the moment, as the shortening of his punishment from three games to two now means that the striker can play in the third group game against the tournament co-hosts Ukraine on the 19th of June.
Adrian Bevington, the managing director of Club England, said of UEFA and Rooney’s meeting: "The commission were very complimentary to Wayne for coming here and giving his evidence personally. It has been made very clear to Wayne that the suspended period of the third card is four years.
“He has been very mature and rational in the way he answered everything said to him by today's panel. If he is dismissed for violent conduct while playing for United, the only team it will affect is England.
“Wayne's presence was clearly important and I'd like to make a special thanks to Manchester United – to David Gill and Sir Alex Ferguson – for releasing Wayne to be present.”
Manchester United’s loss last night was a bitter pill for both Ferguson and Rooney to swallow, as the 2 – 1 defeat meant that they were forced into the Europa League, alongside fellow international underperformers Manchester City.
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