UEFA has delayed giving the FA its 'full written reasons'
behind Wayne Rooney's three-match Euro 2012 ban for at least another week.
Consequently, the FA cannot yet decide whether to appeal
(it will) and UEFA cannot decide whether to reduce - or even increase - the
ban (it won't).
European football's governing body said of the delay: "Due to the urgency of disciplinary cases
connected to the UEFA EURO 2012 play-off matches, we will deal with sending the
full reasoned decision on Wayne Rooney to the FA in due course."
Far be it from Early Doors to sound like the world should
revolve around England, but this is truly bizarre.
It is 20 days since Rooney was sent off against Montenegro,
and a fortnight since he received a three-match ban.
It has taken 14 days since the imposition of the ban for
UEFA to submit its reasons, and it needs another week to do so.
It is the strangest thing ED has heard since Janet Devlin's X-Factor rendition of 'Can't Help Falling In Love'.
Is UEFA trying to stall until after Euro 2012?
Let's think about this logically.
When UEFA imposed the three-match ban, it must have
known why it was doing so.
It surely follows that when you decide on the size of a
punishment, you also establish the reasons for it. Otherwise it is completely
arbitrary. So the written explanation should have been available immediately.
The official statement announcing the ban suggested
enough, as it described Rooney's actions as an "assault" and
presumably on that basis a three-game suspension was deemed appropriate.
The fact UEFA now cannot write a couple of sentences
to that effect rather suggests it plucked the sanction out of thin air.
'Why did we ban him? We have absolutely no idea. We've been
thinking about it for three weeks but still have nothing. Can you give us a bit
more time to decide?'
The delay is all the more preposterous for the fact the
ban is so easy to explain and justify.
Rooney kicked an opponent, and when you do that you get
what's coming to you. As ED has heard people on Hollyoaks say: end of.
The FA would surely agree - after all it was the governing body which
increased Jeremie Aliadiere's ban from three to four games following his
'frivolous' appeal after he was sent off for a girlie slap while playing for
The phrase 'full reasons' is being bandied about like
this is a situation of enormous complexity - like UEFA needs to call on its mates
down the road at Cern to crunch the numbers and fire the contributory factors
round the Large Hardon Collider
a few billion times.
But it could not be more simple.
Rooney was sent off for one reason alone - and UEFA's punishment
reflected the severity of that single offence.
The FA's laughable dossier detailing Rooney's otherwise
exemplary behaviour should obviously have been chucked straight in the bin.
Accepting the referee's decision without argument doesn't
merit time off for good behaviour - you just don't get a worse punishment.
The only issues are these: Does a fairly weak kick
constitute 'assault'? And is a three-match ban unfair in light of the two-match
sanction given to Andrei Arshavin for a similar offence in much the same
circumstances ahead of Euro 2008?
Obviously UEFA has already considered these issues and come
up with answers (yes, and no), because it decided on a punishment two long
ED accepts that UEFA has more on its plate than simply
anticipating hopeless and hypocritical appeals from the FA.
After all, today sees the white hot action of the Youth
and Amateur Football Committee meeting in Nyon.
But it should not have needed any time to think of
reasons to justify Rooney's punishment, since it must have known them when
it banned him.
ED is force to conclude that when UEFA suspended Rooney
it had no earthly clue why they were doing so. And three weeks of head
scratching have still not produced an explanation.
Now THAT'S grounds for appeal.
- - -
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I think all of the players would like to dedicate the win to John Terry."
Oh, give it a rest, Andre Villas-Boas. He's hardly Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter,
is he? Is it just ED that is starting to find Villas-Boas incredibly annoying?
FOREIGN VIEW: Russian premier Vladimir Putin
urged Schalke to keep Germany goalkeeper Manuel
Neuer, it has been revealed.
completed a controversial switch to rivals Bayern Munich in the summer, a move
that was greeted with hostility both by fans of Schalke and Bayern.
Putin, who has
strong links to Schalke's sponsor - the huge Russian natural gas producer
Gazprom - was desperate for him to stay, according to club chairman Clemens
absolutely convinced Manuel should stay, he was a huge fan of his,"
Toennies told Sport Bild.
Manuel it was not a question of the money we could pay him - we had to accept
that. He wanted a change."