Wayne Rooney was told in person by Fabio Capello yesterday that he will be in the England squad for Euro 2012, despite his three-match ban from Uefa, but that he will not be included this month for the friendlies against Spain and Sweden.
The England manager met Rooney at Manchester United's Carrington training ground to break the news in person having given himself a few weeks to decide whether it would be worth taking the striker to Poland and Ukraine at all. The Football Association will also decide today whether to appeal Rooney's ban having finally received the full legal reasons behind the judgement from Uefa yesterday.
Capello has decided that Rooney is too important to leave behind despite the fact that he will, in all likelihood miss all three group games. It is by no means certain that, as it first intended, the FA will appeal the decision today.
Capello told Rooney that in the two friendlies this month he wants to explore his options without the United striker, who was sent off in the final Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro last month. Capello is likely to call up Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge for his senior England debut as he looks at ways of compensating for Rooney's absence.
The FA has three days from the receipt of the legal documents from Uefa on which to make a call on the appeal. However, they have decided to make the decision today and are aware that Uefa could "cross-appeal" any appeal and increase the punishment.
The FA had hoped for a more lenient approach from Uefa who described Rooney's kick out at Miodrag Dzudovic as "assault" when giving him a three-game ban on 13 October. The FA thought it had put together a good case for Rooney with its initial submission, but the punishment was steeper than the governing body expected to receive.
On the other major issue consuming the FA, Capello will consult with four of the organisation's most senior figures before he decides whether to include John Terry in the England squad next week – if the police investigation into the player is still ongoing by Sunday night.
The England manager will face a tricky judgement call on Terry if, by the time he is due to name his squad for the upcoming friendly games at 9pm on Sunday, the Metropolitan Police have not yet decided whether Terry has a case to answer over allegations of racial abuse.
The Chelsea captain, who is under investigation after a complaint to the police concerning his club's game against Queen's Park Rangers 12 days ago, has asked to be named in Capello's squad for the matches against Spain a week tomorrow and Sweden three days later. However, Capello and the FA are yet to decide on the best course of action.
Capello has been at his office in Wembley for much of the week, as well as attending Champions League games at the Emirates and Old Trafford, and has talked to FA chairman David Bernstein about the matter as well as Sir Trevor Brooking (director of football development), Alex Horne (general secretary), and Adrian Bevington (Club England managing director). It will be that group of five who contribute to a decision on the way forward if the matter is still not resolved by Sunday night.
If Terry is charged by the police then there will be no chance that he plays any part in the games. If he is told there is no case to answer, then he will be in the squad. The FA have had suspend their own investigation into what happened between Terry and Anton Ferdinand at Loftus Road while they wait for the police to act and are understandably eager for a judgement before Sunday.
The FA feels that their own investigation, led by their governance and compliance department would have been in a position to rule by yesterday or today. Terry was named in the provisional squad today. That is the long-list of names that is never officially divulged but is communicated to all players under consideration by the England manager to put them on stand-by.
The England manager will benefit from the return of his former general manager Franco Baldini next week from his duties in the same role at Roma. Baldini, a central figure in the Capello camp, will be around the squad for the games against Spain and Sweden and his experience will be valuable for Capello as he seeks to resolve one of the most difficult issues in his four years in charge.
Baldini quit his FA post to take up a new position at Roma after England secured qualification for Euro 2012 in their final group game against Montenegro and his work for the governing body will be carried out unsalaried. It was Baldini who defused the situation with Terry that blew up after his promise to challenge Capello after the Algeria game at the World Cup finals last year.
The Chelsea manager, Andre Villas-Boas, refused to discuss the police investigation into Terry at his press conference yesterday. There is no issue over Terry for the Chelsea manager who will select the defender for their Premier League game away Blackburn tomorrow. Villas-Boas said that there was no problem with Terry and that the player was in the right frame of mind to play.
He said: "I think John has been involved on all our Premier League games. He's our captain, one of the best defenders in the world, and his talent is unquestionable. So, with the talent he is, he's always up for selection."