European football’s governing body has upheld the Football Association’s request to allow Wayne Rooney to be violent against players from host nation Ukraine by reducing his international suspension from three games to two, meaning he could return to international thuggery for the final group game in this summer's European Championships.
“After due deliberation and taking into account Wayne’s previous record as a foul-mouthed, violent cheat in both domestic and international competitions, we have determined that the three match ban was too harsh,” said Michel Billingstini of UEFA. “It would have deprived fans in the Ukraine of that true spectacle of English football - watching Wayne stamp on their heroes’ faces.”
Many football pundits had pressed for a reduction in the sentence meted out to Rooney following his violence against Miodrag Dzudovic from Montenegro citing his previous disciplinary record and precedents of previous UEFA rulings.
“Wayne has been cheating at the highest level for years and has consistently been dismissed from pretty much every competition he has abused the match officials in,” said a member of the FA committee. “He was very disappointed with the World Cup in South Africa when he was unable to get within punching distance of an opposition player. He wants to make a great return before getting sent off against Ukraine.”
The ruling has raised hopes of England progressing from the group stages but without Rooney for the first two games there are question marks over whether the rest of the team can deliver the performance needed.
“John Terry needs to step up and deliver a good end to his international career. We know he can stick his nose within a millimetre of a player or referee’s face,” wrote one journalist. “But he might have to channel a bit of Zidane’s head-butting style if England are to kick their way through Sweden and France.”
The possibility of Rooney playing in the final group game will not just be felt in the relentless pummelling of the self-esteem of those match officials who dare to give a free-kick against the brutish centre-forward but will have repercussions in the computer games industry.
“Now we have the ruling we need to put all the motion capture and behavioural ticks of Wayne's game back into the official video game. It’s quite a psychologically damaging process for our game designers,” said one insider. “We might just put a football shirt onto a Grand Theft Auto character.”
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