PODGORICA, MONTENEGRO - OCTOBER 07: Wayne Rooney of England shows his dissapointment after Montenegro equalise during the UEFA EURO 2012 group G qualifier between Montenegro and England at the City Stadium on October 7, 2011 in Podgorica, Montenegro. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
England striker Wayne Rooney has received the harsh notice that he has been given a three-match ban for Euro 2012 -- thus, he is out for all of England's group stage ties. The Manchester United striker was shown straight red by referee Wolgang Stark after kicking Miodrag Dzudovic in England's 2-2 draw with Montenegro last Friday during a Euro 2012 qualifier. This decision by UEFA had been nervously anticipated for days and Rooney even sent a letter to them pleading for leniency (hopefully this was edited better than his tweets). England boss Fabio Capello called the incident a "silly mistake" and already indicated that Rooney would not likely be involved in upcoming friendlies so that England could prepare for a scenario without their most influential player. This decision brings up whether Rooney will even be involved at all now next summer in Poland/Ukraine. Here is what UEFA had to say about their decision:
"The UEFA control and disciplinary body has today handed down a three-match suspension to England's forward Wayne Rooney following his dismissal during the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier in Montenegro last Friday. 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 England FA had planned to appeal any sort of ban all along. Here is a statement in reaction to the ban:
"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."
For many United supporters around the world, this may not necessarily be bad news. Assuming that Rooney's mind doesn't wander after this decision, his focus in the near-term will be solely on United. For the current club season, he no longer will be called into England for duty and he will be able to rest during international breaks. For a player that may make around 50 club appearances this season, this could be an unexpected blessing. Of course that is a perspective from someone who is not an England supporter.
For England supporters, many may be gutted. For those who support other clubs in England, this may bring a vitriol reaction towards Wazza. He's already a polarizing figure and his recent history -- where he hasn't been able to match his performance for club for his country -- may cause for him to experience some hazing as he visits various grounds around England this season for United. Maybe they'll cheer him at Swansea City.
What is your reaction to this? Are you a United supporter who feels this benefits the club? Are you a England supporter that is gutted?