FIFA slams 2-match ban on Rooney | india | Hindustan Times
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FIFA slams 2-match ban on Rooney

india Updated: Jul 09, 2006 05:00 IST
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Striker Wayne Rooney was suspended for two competitive international matches and fined $ 4,085 by a FIFA disciplinary panel that reviewed his ejection from England's World Cup quarterfinal loss to Portugal.

Rooney was given a red card by referee Horacio Elizondo for stomping on Portugal defender Ricardo Carvalho's groin in the 62nd minute of the quarterfinals.

He denied it was intentional, saying he was "gobsmacked" by the charge, but a FIFA disciplinary committee found him guilty of violent conduct.

Rooney faced an automatic one-game suspension because of the straight red, but the committee doubled the punishment.

Rooney will be suspended for the first two of England's 12 qualifying matches for the 2008 European Championship. The short-tempered Manchester United forward has a history of ejections at the top level, dating back to December 2002 when - aged 17 - he was red-carded in a Premier League match for Everton.

England opens against Andorra (Sept 2) and Macedonia (Sept 6) - the two lowest-ranked teams in a qualifying group also containing Croatia, Israel, Russia and Estonia.

"We believe the case has been dealt with fairly and we accept the decision," England's Football Association said in a statement.

"We have no further comment to make."

In other punishments announced, two Argentina players were suspended for their parts in a skirmish that followed their quarterfinal loss to Germany.

Cufre, an unused substitute in the match, was handed a red card after the final whistle.

FIFA spokesman Andreas Herren said the disciplinary committee did not immediately release comments on its findings.

Germany midielder Torsten Frings missed the World Cup semifinal loss to Italy because of a suspension stemming from the same incident in the Argentina quarterfinal match.

In a quick ruling on the eve of the semifinal after new footage of the brawl was shown on German and Italian TV, Frings was found guilty of punching Julio Cruz.

"I feel betrayed as it was not what I deserved," Frings was quoted saying in German newspapers. "FIFA destroyed my dream. I wa punished fo defending myself."

The disciplinary panel took two days to deliberate Rooney's case and three days for the Argentine pair.

The FA submitted a defense for Rooney, but it was widely expected that he would be banned for at least two matches. UEFA president Lennart Johansson said he agreed with the original ruling by Elizondo, who will referee World Cup final between Italy and France.

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