ENGLAND’S Euro 2012 hopes were this morning given a major lift after Uefa’s disciplinary panel accepted Wayne Rooney’s appeal against his three-match international ban, reducing the suspension to two games.
Rooney, the England manager, Fabio Capello, and a four-strong team of lawyers attended the hearing at Uefa’s headquarters in Nyon in an attempt to reduce the ban he received for his red card in Montenegro in October.
The striker’s case was that the length of the ban, which would have ruled him out of the entire group phase, was not proportionate to the offence, and that a two-match ban, allowing him to face Ukraine in Donetsk, was more reasonable.
The legal team also pointed to the fact that Miodrag Dzudovic, the Montenegro player kicked by Rooney, had asked Uefa to show leniency because Rooney had acted out of “desperation rather than anger”, and had been “provoked by problems his family had to face a short time before the game”.
The three-man panel, drawn from Uefa’s appeals committee, accepted the arguments, meaning Rooney will now miss only England’s matches against France and Sweden.