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Oct 13, 2011

Rooney given three-match ban

England striker Wayne Rooney has been banned for three matches for his sending off against Montenegro. He will miss the group stage of the European Championships.

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UEFA's Disciplinary and Control Body met on Thursday to discuss the dismissal after Rooney petulantly kicked out at Montenegro's Miodrag Dzudovic.

With no more competitive games for England before next summer's finals in Ukraine and Poland, Rooney will miss the first three games of the tournament which means he will not be available until the quarter-finals, should England get that far.

England have three days to appeal the decision, which seems a formailty given the severity of the punishment.

UEFA deemed Rooney's challenge an assault, and the rules state that carries a "suspension for three competition matches or for a specified period for assaulting another player or other person present at the match".

A statement from UEFA read: "The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body has today handed down a three-match suspension to England forward Wayne Rooney following his dismissal during the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier in Montenegro last Friday, 7 October.

"Today's decision was taken in relation to the red card shown to Rooney for assault after 74 minutes of England's final Group G game, the 2-2 draw with Montenegro in Podgorica. The striker will now be suspended from playing in his country's next three UEFA national competition matches for which he would be eligible.

"An appeal may be lodged against the verdict of the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body within three days of the dispatch of the reasoned decision."

The FA say they will look at the full reasons behind the UEFA decision before deciding whether to appeal.

An FA statement said: "Further to UEFA's decision to impose a three-match suspension on Wayne Rooney following his sending off against Montenegro, the FA await the full reasons from the disciplinary committee, and will give full consideration to the decision internally, before deciding on any response to UEFA or making any further public comment.''

It had been suggested that Rooney's ban could be increased if England choose to appeal, but Article 62.3 of UEFA's Disciplinary Regulations 2011 states: "If the accused is the only party to have lodged an appeal or if the disciplinary inspector appeals in favour of the accused, the punishment cannot be increased."

Russia's Andrei Arshavin was sent off against Andorra in their last qualifier for Euro 2008, in a very similar incident to that of Rooney as he lashed out at an opponent. Arshavin was suspended for two matches but still left a lasting imprint on the tournament when available for selection in the last group game.

England boss Fabio Capello has stated that Wayne Rooney will not start any of England friendlies in the run-up to Euro 2012 as he tries to find a system that works without the Manchester United man. But if the three-match ban stands he may have to consider his place in the squad.

Referee Wolfgang Stark, who sent Rooney off, had words of support for the Manchester United star at the weekend, believing that his reaction to the dismissal and calm exit from the pitch may help his cause and limit his ban to a single match. But Rooney would have been exceptionally lucky to escape with that punishment.

The draw for the finals is on December 2 at 5pm GMT.

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