Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson left Rooney out of his starting line-up for the key game against Liverpool that ended 1-1 because the England striker was ‘devastated’ by the three-match ban which would rule him out of the group stage at next summer’s tournament.
And Rooney is prepared to do anything, including flying to UEFA headquarters to plead his case in person, to try to reduce the suspension imposed for his kick on Montenegro’s Miodrag Dzudovic.
UEFA rules allow for a player and Football Association representatives to attend any appeal hearing.
The FA will wait to receive the written reasons for the three-match ban before deciding whether to contest it and whether the striker should travel to Switzerland but Rooney and England manager Fabio Capello are both keen on appealing.
Ferguson said: ‘Wayne Rooney’s had a bad week. He was devastated at the suspension. I just felt he’d be better starting on the bench. Wayne was very disappointed with UEFA’s decision. He could miss the European Championship because there is no guarantee England are going to qualify from their group.
‘That is the nuts and bolts of it. England have found it very difficult to progress in major championships and for Wayne to get three matches means he could miss the whole thing.’
That is also Capello’s fear but his hopes of having Rooney available for one group match rest on convincing UEFA officials that the incident with Dzudovic did not constitute ‘assault’, which is how it was described in last week’s ruling.
UEFA rules specifically provide for a ‘suspension for three competition matches or for a specified period for assaulting another player’.
The FA have three days to decide whether to appeal once they have received UEFA’s written reasons for the ban, which are expected to arrive early next week.
They then have a further six days to prepare their case if they do appeal, meaning a potential hearing is not likely to take place for at least two weeks.
Capello is in no rush to make a decision on Rooney’s participation in Euro 2012 and has said he will leave the United striker out of the team for friendlies in the build-up to Euro 2012 so that he can consider how best to replace his best player.
Rooney’s United team-mate, Danny Welbeck, is the most likely beneficiary but Daniel Sturridge and Jermain Defoe are also on Capello’s radar and have a good chance of being promoted to the squad next month for the matches against Spain and Sweden.
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