Repentant Rooney pens apology to Uefa for his mad moment
Wayne Rooney has written his own letter of apology for his red card against Montenegro as part of the Football Association's appeal for leniency when Uefa rules on the striker's Euro 2012 ban on Thursday.
The FA has been impressed by Rooney's desire to show contrition for his red card on Friday, which has earned him at minimum a one-match ban for next summer's European Championship and could see him suspended for as many as three games. His apology will form the centrepiece of the FA's defence, which will be sent to Uefa's headquarters in Nyon in Switzerland tomorrow.
While three games is very much a worst-case scenario, the FA is prepared for that eventuality. If the governing body gives Rooney anything more than a one-game ban on Thursday, the FA will immediately appeal.
So far, the FA has compiled documentary and video evidence that it hopes will support the case. As well as Rooney's letter, there is a letter from the FA and the accompanying DVD will highlight the fact that Rooney left the field immediately after his red card – a point picked up on subsequently by referee Wolfgang Stark.
The case is being handled by the FA's football governance and regulation department, who are experts in sports law and administer the FA's disciplinary process across the professional and amateur game in England. Uefa rules do not allow for a delegate from the FA to appear in person but the governing body has gone into overdrive since Friday night to put together a robust case in Rooney's defence.
The Uefa Control and Disciplinary Body comprises the chairman Thomas Partl, of Austria, and nine committee members. They sit for a day and will look at a number of cases including that of Rooney, sent off for a kick at Miodrag Dzudovic. For the body to sit it needs a quorum consisting of three members plus Partl present. Uefa has not specified who will attend on Thursday.
The Independent contacted Jim Stjerne Hansen, the general secretary of the Danish football federation, yesterday. He said that he would attend the hearing in Nyon if Denmark beat Portugal tonight and qualify automatically for Euro 2012. Should they have to go through the play-offs then he will be in Krakow this week for the draw. He would not divulge what he thought of the Rooney case.
The president of the Northern Ireland FA, Jim Shaw, is also on the Uefa disciplinary body. The other members who could be part of the committee that decides Rooney's fate are: Jacques Antenen (Switzerland); Sándor Berzi (Hungary); Emilio García Silvero (Spain); Hans Lorenz (Germany); Gheorghe Popescu (Romania); Rudolf Repka (Czech Republic) and Joël Wolff (Luxembourg).
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