Rooney to hear Euro 2012 fate after Montenegro sending off
WAYNE Rooney will today discover the length of his ban for his red card against Montenegro - and much of England's hopes for Euro 2012 could rest on the outcome.
The Manchester United striker should receive a three-match ban for violent conduct if UEFA's disciplinary regulations are followed to the letter, but the Football Association are hoping a more lenient sanction will be imposed.
UEFA's control and disciplinary body will make their decision late this afternoon and there real fears he could miss all of England's three group matches in the Euro 2012 finals next summer.
Rooney was shown a straight red by referee Wolfgang Stark for kicking Miodrag Dzudovic.
The European body's disciplinary regulations article 10(e) state the "suspension for three competition matches or for a specified period for assaulting another player or other person present at the match".
Serious assaults warrant a five-match ban, say the regulations, but the FA have submitted a dossier to the disciplinary body pleading for leniency.
Senior UEFA figures, both with long experience of the disciplinary process, say Rooney's best hope looks to be escaping with a two-match ban.
In 2004, Chelsea's Marcel Desailly was initially handed a three-match ban for elbowing Monaco's Fernando Morientes but that was reduced on appeal to two games after UEFA said the act was not deliberate, and taking into account his good record.
Andrey Arshavin was also given a two-match ban and missed Russia' first two games of Euro 2008 after being sent off against Andorra, but television evidence was less clear-cut than in Rooney's case.
Rooney has not been sent off in any European competition for six years and it is likely the FA would appeal were he to be given a three-game suspension.
Any hope of a one-match ban look highly unlikely, according to the UEFA sources, who say disciplinary chiefs would be wary of setting a precedent of giving a lenient punishment for violent conduct, when dismissals for two bookings or denying a goalscoring opportunity carry one-match bans.
Meanwhile, England will not face any action from UEFA over reports of racist chanting by their fans in Sofia during the Euro 2012 qualifier against Bulgaria.
Charges against Bulgaria for racist chanting against Ashley Young will be heard by UEFA on November 17.