NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Wayne Rooney will miss the entire group stage of the 2012 European Championship after being given a three-match ban by UEFA on Thursday for kicking a player in England’s final qualifier.
UEFA’s disciplinary panel announced the verdict after examining the England striker’s kick at Montenegro defender Miodrag Dzudovic in a qualifying game last Friday.
UEFA’s rule book calls for three-game bans in cases judged to be assault, rather than the mandatory one-match ban for receiving a red card.
“The striker will now be suspended from playing in his country’s next three UEFA national competition matches for which he would be eligible,” UEFA said in a statement.
Rooney, who did not attend the hearing, can appear in his own defense at an appeal hearing.
England’s Football Association said it would study the detailed verdict from UEFA before deciding whether to appeal.
“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,” it said in a statement.
The expected appeal is likely to be heard before England finds out its Euro 2012 opponents on Dec. 2 when the draw is made in Kiev. Ukraine is co-hosting next year’s tournament with Poland.
Rooney and England’s Football Association wrote letters of mitigation to the 10-man UEFA panel, which also weighed German match referee Wolfgang Stark’s report.
Stark had praised Rooney for showing no dissent after his dismissal, and England hoped UEFA would see the offense as resulting from frustration rather than malice.
England and Rooney also hoped UEFA would impose the same two-match ban it gave Russia forward Andrei Arshavin ahead of Euro 2008.
Arshavin was sent off for violent conduct in the 84th minute of a decisive qualifier against Andorra in November 2007. Russia won 1-0 to advance ahead of England.
Arshavin sat out Russia’s first two matches before leading the team to the semifinals.