Rooney suspended for three matches
Wayne Rooney will miss the entire group stage of the 2012 European Championship after receiving a three-game ban Thursday for kicking a player during England’s final qualifier.
European soccer’s governing body cited him for his actions against Montenegro defender Miodrag Dzudovic during a qualifying game last Friday.
UEFA’s rule book calls for three-game bans in cases judged to be assault, rather than the mandatory one-match ban for a red card.
Rooney, who did not attend the hearing, can appear in his own defense at an appeal hearing. England’s Football Association said it would study the disciplinary committee’s decision before deciding whether to appeal.
The expected appeal is likely to be heard before England finds out its Euro 2012 opponents on Dec. 2 when the draw is made in Kiev. Ukraine is co-hosting next year’s tournament with Poland.
Rooney and England’s FA wrote letters of mitigation to the 10-man UEFA panel, which also considered the report by German referee Wolfgang Stark.
Stark had praised Rooney for showing no dissent after his dismissal, and England hoped UEFA would see the offense as resulting from frustration rather than malice.
England and Rooney also hoped UEFA would impose the same two-match ban it gave Russia forward Andrei Arshavin ahead of Euro 2008.
Arshavin was sent off for violent conduct in the 84th minute of a decisive qualifier against Andorra in November 2007. Russia won 1-0 to advance ahead of England. Arshavin sat out Russia’s first two matches before leading the team to the semifinals.