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Serie A heavyweights head-to-head

50-50 Challenge 2 days ago
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By ESPN Staff
Jul 6, 2006

FIFA committee to decide on Rooney's ban

FIFA's disciplinary chiefs convene today to consider how lengthy a suspension England striker Wayne Rooney must serve.

Rooney was sent off for violent conduct in the World Cup quarter-final against Portugal, which England went on to lose in a penalty shoot-out.

He will be hit with a fine and a ban which will rule him out of the start of the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign, and England's new head coach Steve McClaren will hope FIFA are lenient.

The Football Association will hope Rooney escapes with a suspension of two competitive internationals.

Rooney stuck a boot in the groin of Portuguese defender Ricardo Carvalho and then pushed Cristiano Ronaldo in the chest.

Referee Horacio Elizondo produced the red card and England were unable to perform match-winning heroics with 10 men.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter offered his support to the Argentinian official this week.

The Football Association were given until today to offer their observations on the incident.

Manchester United striker Rooney maintains there was no malice intended in the incident which ended when he stamped on Carvalho, who was on the floor, after jostling for possession near the halfway line.

The England player insists he was simply battling to keep possession and Carvalho slipped into the area where he was about to place his foot.

The FA were expected to support Rooney's view and point out to FIFA that the striker was being fouled in the run-up to the flashpoint.

They also hope the disciplinary committee will consider the fact that Rooney was sent off in the biggest game of his life and that this had been a devastating blow for the 20-year-old.

FIFA may not complete their investigation today, meaning there may not be an announcement until later in the week.

England open their Euro 2008 qualifying campaign against Andorra at Old Trafford on September 2, followed four days later by an away game in Macedonia.

They also face Macedonia and Croatia in October, with McClaren hoping for a smooth start to his spell as Sven-Goran Eriksson's successor.