Redknapp has a pop at FA chiefs

Rooney’s suspension for next summer’s tournament was cut from three

matches to two at a UEFA hearing in Switzerland on Thursday.

Redknapp thinks the FA’s stance is hypocritical as he is sure that

had the Manchester United player lashed out in a similar manner to

his kick at Montenegro’s Miodrag Dzudovic in a domestic game, the

26-year-old would be suspended for three matches and an appeal

might have brought even more. Redknapp, the bookmakers’ favourite

to succeed Fabio Capello as England boss, said: “In all honesty it

was a three-match ban for violent conduct. “You can look at it and

say it wasn’t that violent, but it doesn’t matter. If you cuff

someone, you get a three-match ban. Those are the rules. “If you

appealed it (domestically), it would be a frivolous appeal and you

would probably get four games if you went to the FA.” They are

similar comments to those expressed by Liverpool boss Dalglish

yesterday, and Redknapp now expects the FA to be besieged with

appeals for domestic red cards. “For them to get it from three to

two, it opens up a can of worms,” he said. “There will be clubs

appealing against bans and they will want to know why they aren’t

getting it cut from three to two for similar situations. “People

will look at it and think, ‘Hang on, the FA have gone and appealed

against his (Rooney’s) red, why can’t we?’ “From England’s point of

view, I’m pleased to see him get two because he’s that important to

England, but in all honesty, the rules are supposed to be the rules

and they have not been adhered to in this situation.” So, once

again, the FA find themselves on the back foot. Yesterday, they

attempted to clarify their own position and have done the same

again today. Essentially, there is a significant difference in the

manner in which UEFA and the FA deal with discipline. Whereas UEFA

prefer to offer guidance to their disciplinary body, and a sliding

scale of punishments, the FA lays down set sanctions, partly due to

the time constraints brought about by the huge number of games they

must govern. Had the Rooney incident occurred in a domestic game,

he would have known instantly he faced a three-game ban for violent

conduct. However, such are UEFA’s rules that when he was shown the

red card in Podgorica, Rooney was left facing a minimum one-match

suspension, with the likelihood that it would be increased to two

or three. As this punishment did not cover friendlies, and as

England had avoided the Euro 2012 play-offs, the first match

affected was the Three Lions’ opening group game against France in

Donetsk on June 11. Under such circumstances, the FA, whose twin

functions are administering disciplinary matters and running the

England team, felt they were duty-bound to try to reduce the

suspension Rooney faced. They succeeded in that aim yesterday,

partly because Capello admitted he made a mistake not taking

Rooney, who had suffered off-field problems involving his father

and uncle, off at half-time. “It is important that people

understand that amongst the many duties of the FA we have

responsibility for the England team and also, separately, to

oversee the domestic game’s regulatory function,” said FA chairman

David Bernstein. “Our philosophy for the national team is clear. We

will run this along the same lines and with the same focus and

commitment as any football club in this country. Our fans would

expect no less. “To achieve this we will fully support our manager

and our players. “This is simply what we have sought to achieve in

reducing Wayne Rooney’s suspension. I am very pleased that we have

been successful in this appeal. “The FAs disciplinary department

has stated, from the outset, that the domestic regulatory process

is different to that of UEFA’s. “In the case of Wayne Rooney we

have been well and independently advised and have followed proper

UEFA process throughout. “Our management and players respect that

domestic disciplinary decisions of he FA are made independently of

matters relating to the English national team.” At least Manchester

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is happy. “It is no problem for

me,” said the Scot, countering suggestions that he was not

interested in the well-being of England’s national team. “I am

pleased for Wayne Rooney and England. It does give them a better

chance.”