FA to appeal Wayne Rooney Euro 2012 ban


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The Independent Football

The Football Association have decided to appeal against the three-match ban that threatens to rule Wayne Rooney out of the entire Euro 2012 group phase.

They have informed UEFA of their intention and now have six days to put together a case to go before European football's governing body.

"We will be appealing against the three-match suspension Wayne Rooney received following the recent Euro 2012 qualifier in Montenegro," said an FA spokesman.

"We received written reasons for the red card on Tuesday afternoon and we were given until midnight tonight to respond."

Speaking after scoring in Manchester United's Champions League win over Otelul Galati at Old Trafford, Rooney admitted his blatant kick at Miodrag Dzudovic was "stupid".

However, Rooney also claimed the punishment, which would scupper his chances of featuring in the tournament at all should England fail to reach the knockout phase, was "a bit harsh".

"It will be a bonus if it is cut by one game," he added.

That view has been endorsed, in writing, by Dzudovic, and it is thought that will provide the central component of the FA's appeal.

The decision has been taken after it became obvious there was no risk of the ban being increased, as would be the case with the FA in a domestic appeal.

Rather than simply levy an extra penalty for a "frivolous" appeal, UEFA would launch a counter-appeal if they felt the FA had no grounds for complaint.

This would allow the FA to simply withdraw their own, leaving Rooney to accept his ban.

In the immediate aftermath of the Montenegro game, when he thought Rooney may only be suspended for a single match, Fabio Capello said the forward would not feature in this month's friendlies with Spain and Sweden.

It seems that stance has not altered, with even Rooney accepting he is unlikely to be picked, something United boss Sir Alex Ferguson would no doubt welcome anyway.

The 26-year-old will find out for certain on Sunday evening, when Capello unveils his squad, although far more interest will surround the potential inclusion of John Terry.

Support from QPR owner Tony Fernandes, whose player, Anton Ferdinand, is alleged to have been the victim of a racist remark from Terry, is bound to strengthen what is thought to be Capello's stance, namely that the 30-year-old is innocent until proven guilty.

"There's been no hard evidence either way of John's alleged statements," Fernandes told the BBC.

"If he's the right man for the job, then he should be selected as captain.

"Lots of things can be said in the spur of the moment which don't make you really believe what you've said.

"I don't think you can write someone off as a racist because of one statement.

"Having said that, it is in the public eye and people like John have to be gooder than good.

"If he said it, it is wrong because of who he is but I don't say he's a racist because of that one statement."

The counter-argument is that the allegations are so serious, Terry should be removed from the heat of debate until such time as Metropolitan Police and FA investigations have been completed.

In a sense, these would be the perfect games for Terry to miss anyway.

Under normal circumstances, the defender has no need to prove himself as far as England is concerned, particularly as Capello has repeatedly stressed his desire to use the opportunity to look at younger, unexposed players.

Tom Cleverley's ankle injury looks certain to deprive the Manchester United midfielder of the chance to make his international debut.

However, there are plenty of others who might come into contention.

Capello has spoken of his admiration for Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge on more than one occasion.

Jack Rodwell's improved form for Everton should be rewarded, particularly as with Steven Gerrard and Jack Wilshere once again ruled out through injury, as is Ashley Young, there would appear to be a vacancy in that area of the field.

Liverpool defender Martin Kelly is another who has been name-checked by Capello in the past, whilst Reds team-mate Jordan Henderson has been relegated to under-21 duty since winning his first senior cap against France 12 months ago.

Arsenal teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was spoken of by Capello as an international of the future after a purple patch in September.

However, having made just one appearance since, it is hard to see how he could merit inclusion.