FA to appeal Rooney ban
The Football Association have decided to appeal against the three-match ban that threatens to rule Wayne Rooney out of the entire Euro 2012 group phase.
They have informed UEFA of their intention and now have six days to put together a case to go before European football's governing body.
"We will be appealing against the three-match suspension Wayne Rooney received following the recent Euro 2012 qualifier in Montenegro,'' said an FA spokesman. "We received written reasons for the red card on Tuesday afternoon and we were given until midnight tonight to respond.''
Speaking after scoring in Manchester United's Champions League win over Otelul Galati at Old Trafford, Rooney admitted his blatant kick at Miodrag Dzudovic was "stupid''. However, Rooney also claimed the punishment, which would scupper his chances of featuring in the tournament at all should England fail to reach the knockout phase, was "a bit harsh''.
"It will be a bonus if it is cut by one game,'' he added.
That view has been endorsed, in writing, by Dzudovic, and it is thought that will provide the central component of the FA's appeal. The decision has been taken after it became obvious there was no risk of the ban being increased, as would be the case with the FA in a domestic appeal.
Rather than simply levy an extra penalty for a "frivolous'' appeal, UEFA would launch a counter-appeal if they felt the FA had no grounds for complaint. This would allow the FA to simply withdraw their own, leaving Rooney to accept his ban.
In the immediate aftermath of the Montenegro game, when he thought Rooney may only be suspended for a single match, Fabio Capello said the forward would not feature in this month's friendlies with Spain and Sweden. It seems that stance has not altered, with even Rooney accepting he is unlikely to be picked, something United boss Sir Alex Ferguson would no doubt welcome anyway.
The 26-year-old will find out for certain on Sunday evening.