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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul, 8, 2006

FIFA hand Rooney two-match England ban

Wayne Rooney will miss the start of England's Euro 2008 qualifying campaign after being banned for two matches by FIFA for stamping on Ricardo Carvalho.

The England striker was sent off during the World Cup quarter-final defeat by Portugal but claimed the stamp on the Chelsea defender had been unintentional.

The Football Association backed up the 20-year-old in their submission to FIFA's disciplinary committee but Rooney was found guilty of violent conduct. He has also been fined £2,400 (5,000 Swiss francs).

The Manchester United forward will miss England's Euro 2008 qualifiers against Andorra on September 2 at Old Trafford and Macedonia away on September 6.

It means new England head coach Steve McClaren will be without arguably the country's most important player for his first two competitive games in charge of the national side, which may also affect his selection for the friendly planned against Greece on August 16.

Meanwhile, FIFA have also banned two Argentina players for their part in the fracas at the end of the quarter-final against Germany.

Leandro Cufre has been suspended for four matches and fined £4,800 for kicking German defender Per Mertesacker in the groin.

Midfielder Maxi Rodriguez has been given a two-match suspension and fined £2,400 for throwing punches during the melee.

The Football Association believe Rooney has been given a fair deal by FIFA's disciplinary committee.

Director of communications Adrian Bevington said: 'We have just received this decision from FIFA and we believe the case has been dealt with fairly and we accept the decision.'

More privately, the England camp will be pleased with the outcome which justifies their stance on the sending off.

Rooney always insisted there was no intent behind his stamp on Carvalho and the FA chose to back his argument rather than issue an apology to FIFA.

There was criticism from some quarters that this was the wrong approach and may have tempted FIFA to increase the punishment.

But Rooney's two-match ban is in line with what the FA consider to be a fair suspension.

England should not miss their striker too badly against minnows Andorra in the opening game of the Euro 2008 campaign.

A trip to Macedonia without the Manchester United star may be trickier but he will be available for the return against the Macedonians, at Old Trafford, in October.

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