UEFA bans Wayne Rooney
14 October 2011, 09:35
England - UEFA banned Wayne Rooney for all three group-stage matches at the 2012 European Championship on Thursday after being sent off for kicking a player in England's final qualifier.
UEFA's disciplinary panel found the England forward guilty of kicking out at Montenegro defender Miodrag Dzudovic in a qualifying game on Friday.
UEFA's rule book calls for three-match bans in cases of assault, and the panel added two extra matches to a mandatory one-match ban for receiving a red card.
"The striker will now be suspended from playing in his country's next three UEFA national competition matches for which he would be eligible," UEFA said in a statement.
Rooney, who did not attend the hearing, can appeal and appear in his own defense at a later date.
The expected appeal is likely to be heard before England find out who their Euro 2012 opponents will be on December 2, when the draw is made in Kiev, Ukraine.
Rooney and England's Football Association wrote mitigation letters to the 10-man UEFA panel, which also weighed German match referee Wolfgang Stark's report.
Stark had praised Rooney for showing no dissent after his dismissal, and England hoped UEFA would see the offense as resulting from frustration rather than malice.
England and Rooney also hoped UEFA would impose the same two-match ban it gave Russia forward Andrei Arshavin ahead of Euro 2008.
Arshavin was sent off for violent conduct in the 84th minute of a decisive qualifier against Andorra in November 2007. Russia won 1-0 to advance ahead of England.
Arshavin sat out Russia's first two matches before leading the team to the semi-finals.