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Wayne Rooney: 3-Match Ban Reduced but England Not out of Euro 2012 Woods

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterDecember 9, 2011

BASEL, SWITZERLAND - DECEMBER 07:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United walks dejected after Basel scored their second goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Basel 1893 and Manchester United at St. Jakob-Park on December 7, 2011 in Basel, Switzerland.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

For once, something went right for Wayne Rooney

The man that was unstoppable at the end of the summer saw his name dragged through the mud as he was sent off with an red card during a European qualifier against Montenegro. 

The three-match ban has now been appealed and it may be a godsend for England that it has. The Three Lions were looking at all three group stage games sans their best player. 

Now, they get him for at least the last match, according to a report by Mirror Football. Rooney was present at the UEFA disciplinary panel with England boss Fabio Capello and Football Association executive Adrian Bevington. 

The goal of Thursday's appearance was simple: fall upon the mercy of the board and beg for forgiveness. The private meeting and its details will not be divulged, but you can only imagine that Rooney had some great things to say. 

After an hour-and-a-half meeting, Rooney emerged with one less game on his ban. To be more precise, one of the banned games was suspended for four years. If he goes awry again, an international match ban will be enforced. 

This is in no way a moment for England supporters to celebrate. In fact, the pain felt when the initial three-game ban was passed is still very much relevant. 

Rooney will feature in the Ukraine match. His two-game ban now makes it imperative that Capello include Rooney in the squad, in effect playing with one less roster spot and their best talent against Sweden and France. 

Without Rooney, who has been one of the best players in the world with top-shelf form in the last couple of months, the side is in danger of giving up vital points early. 

Even if you think they will be in contention by the time the Ukraine match is up, you have to acknowledge that match is far more important than it would have been. 

With Rooney out front, the English attack is a prolific force. Without him, the Three Lions will struggle to find the net. 

The ban may be one game less, but that hardly makes England's situation any less dire. 

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