Rooney's fate in the air until May
Fabio Capello has told advisers that he will wait until next May before making a decision on whether to take Wayne Rooney to Euro 2012, with the Football Association as yet unable to make a decision on whether to appeal his three-match ban from Uefa.
Capello is currently of a mind that the governing body should appeal the ban, which was handed down after Rooney kicked out at Miodrag Dzudovic in England's draw with Montengero eight days ago. But in the event that an appeal is unsuccessful, or ends with Uefa increasing Rooney's ban, the England manager is keeping his options open on whether he will even take the player to Poland.
The immediate decision that faces the FA is whether to pursue an appeal case for Rooney, although having clarified the rules with Uefa yesterday they now know that in doing so they could risk a bigger punishment.
Rooney's case is not a priority for Uefa which is dealing with those disciplinary issues that could have an impact on the teams competing in the play-offs for Euro 2012 next month. As a result, the FA does not expect to receive the "written reasons" for Rooney's punishment until the start of next week.
On receipt of that more detailed legal argument, the FA has three days in which to tell Uefa whether it wants to appeal and a further six days to submit the documentation. It means the process is not expected to be resolved until the beginning of the week after next, at the earliest.
The FA has also pushed back against accusations that it is guilty of double-standards by appealing a three-match ban which would be standard for violent conduct in the English domestic game under its own rules. The FA has a fixed tariff for certain offences while Uefa does not and the English governing body believes that, given precedent, the punishment for Rooney is severe.
The FA has also been made aware by Uefa that any appeal could see Rooney's punishment extended to four games. Uefa has the facility to "cross-appeal" the FA's appeal and that could lead to a steeper ban. There is no way the FA can begin to plan its strategy until its lawyers look at the written reasons submitted by Uefa's control and disciplinary body.
There were mixed feelings among Premier League managers yesterday as to whether Rooney's Uefa ban was too harsh. Sir Alex Ferguson refused to talk about the subject but Rooney's former manager David Moyes, at Everton, said the three-game ban was a "joke".
Moyes said: "It might be better to leave the boy at home and get a good summer. I'm a Scotsman, so I hope he stays at home. There is no doubting that Wayne shouldn't have done what he did. But I thought they [Uefa] would have near enough let it go.
"He is a great player. The other day he had a bad reaction. I've seen that from [Zinedine] Zidane and many great players. It's sometimes a consequence of the immense pressure they are under, everybody expects them always to do something special. On the day he knows that he had not a special day because recently he was exceptional in every single game and on the day he was not in such good form and he was frustrated."
The Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp, the man widely expected to be Capello's successor with England, said it was "a painful, painful lesson for Rooney that he cannot do things like that". He added: "I have sympathy for him but those are the rules so he must accept it."
'The ban is a joke' - Rooney reaction around the grounds
I was seriously shocked when I heard. It is a painful lesson for Rooney; he cannot do things like that. I have sympathy for him but those are the rules so he must accept it.
The ban is a joke. It might be better to leave the boy at home and get a good summer. Everybody wants to pick out Wayne. (He) shouldn't have done what he did. But I thought they would have near enough let it go.
It looks harsh but I don't know the rules well enough. You don't want to make an exception because it is anybody with a big name. I don't know the rules but I have experienced myself that Uefa can be very harsh. You have to accept it.
If it was for violent conduct then it's three matches because that's what my players and Man Utd players get banned for, all of them do.
He will receive extra attention from the Kop (today) but that's football. He'll expect it and he'll deal with it.
He's the best player in the country, who has had, in my opinion, a tough ban imposed on him.
That flash, what he did, is why Wayne Rooney is one of the great players we have seen in this country.
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