England

Rooney ban reduced to two matches

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Wayne Rooney's Euro 2012 ban has been reduced to two matches following a successful appeal to UEFA and he will now be available for England's third group match against Ukraine.

UEFA's three-man appeals panel reduced his original three-match ban imposed for his red card against Montenegro.

A UEFA spokesman confirmed that the ban for the third match will be suspended for four years - and will only kick in if he is sent off in another European match.

Rooney has also agreed to do some coaching in the community, said the spokesman.

Rooney and England manager Fabio Capello attended the hearing at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland - and that may have swung the appeal, according Club England managing director Adrian Bevington.

He said on Twitter: "Fair hearing at UEFA. Important Wayne Rooney and Fabio Capello in attendance. Available for Ukraine game at Euros."

The FA also sent a team of four lawyers including a QC to UEFA to support Rooney's appeal.

They included Adam Lewis QC, who has previous experience of chairing Rugby Football Union appeal hearings, a Swiss sports lawyer, plus the FA's own internal solicitor James Bonnington and a representative from their external lawyers Charles Russell.

Rooney himself had admitted it was "stupid" to have kicked Miodrag Dzudovic, and the Montenegrin sent a statement on the Manchester United striker's behalf.

The FA are thought to have pointed out that a three-match ban that affects games in the finals of a major tournament is a harsher sanction than a suspension of a similar length which would just affect matches in a qualifying tournament.

Rooney's two-match ban means he misses the Group D opener against France on June 11 in Donetsk and also the second game against Sweden in Kiev on June 15 but can now face host nation Ukraine on June 19 in Donetsk.

Club England managing director Adrian Bevington told reporters in Nyon: "It is a positive outcome, Wayne and Fabio are both very pleased. Wayne will now head back to Manchester, they are both very satisfied that they have had a fair hearing.

"Wayne always made it clear he accepted it was a red card offence and we are very pleased with the outcome.

"We arrived with the possibility of Wayne Rooney missing the entire group phase so to have him available for the final group game against Ukraine is a positive result for us and Wayne Rooney as well."

Bevington, who thanked United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and the club's chief executive David Gill for releasing Rooney to appear at the hearing at UEFA headquarters, explained the terms of Rooney's reduced ban.

Bevington revealed red card offences of a certain nature while on club or international duty in the four-year period would trigger the additional one-game international suspension.

 

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