BERNE (Reuters) – England striker Wayne Rooney has been given a three-match international ban by UEFA for his sending-off against Montenegro last Friday, ruling him out of the group stage of Euro 2012.
“The striker will now be suspended from playing in his country’s next three UEFA national competition matches for which he would be eligible,” European soccer‘s governing body said in a statement.
UEFA said Rooney had been sent off for “assault” in the 74th minute of the match which ended 2-2 in Podgorica, the final match of England’s qualifying campaign.
England were leading 2-1 at the time and Rooney had helped set up both England goals before being sent off for a wild kick at Miodrag Dzudovic.
The match ended 2-2, giving England the point they needed to qualify.
England have three days to appeal the verdict. The English FA said they would wait to learn the full reasons before deciding on a response.
“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,” read an FA statement.
Rooney, who was also sent off in the 2006 World Cup, was playing one day after his father and uncle were arrested and bailed by police over an alleged betting scam.
England have no other player like the 25-year-old Rooney, who can be deadly as a striker and act as a playmaker.
Manager Fabio Capello, who defended his decision to pick Rooney for the game, has already said that Rooney would not start in any of the warm-up friendlies before the tournament.