Wayne Rooney has won his appeal of UEFA's three-match international suspension, getting it reduced to two matches. The England striker was banned after he received a red card for kicking out at Miodrag Dzudovic in his team's final Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro. Had Rooney's three-match suspension stood, he would have been forced to miss the entire group stage of next summer's European Championships, but by having it reduced to two matches he will be able to play in the group stage finale against Ukraine.
At no point did the FA appeal that Rooney should not be suspended, just that the suspension should be reduced. In suspending Rooney initially UEFA referred to the rules, which state that a "suspension for three competition matches or for a specified period for assaulting another player or other person present at the match." In reducing the suspension, UEFA deemed Rooney's action not to be an assault and more like the situation at Euro 2008 when Andrei Arshavin kicked out and was handed a two-match ban.
The appeal was heard by a panel of three from UEFA's disciplinary committee and Rooney's appeal was argued by four FA attorneys, while Rooney and England manager Fabio Capello were also in attendance. Rooney's appeal was undoubtedly helped by Dzudovic, who asked that UEFA show the Englishman leniency because Rooney acted out out of "desperation rather than anger."