Back when we started rambling like this I posted something about the potential implementation in football of The Rooney Rule. A rule devised to give more chances to managers and coaches from minority backgrounds if you were not aware. It's something I was particularly vocal against. I'm not some massive racist, I just think everyone should be given an opportunity on merit rather than ethnicity. I even received the backing of one of England U19 manager Noel Blake's good friends for my argument against it.
Anyway, that's a story for another day, but in that piece I joked that the rule wasn't about Wayne Rooney... It seems now though he does have his own rule, and it's heartily endorsed by The FA. It would appear quite clearly now that you can indeed kick people, be sent-off, but have your appeal reduced rather than extended if indeed you play for a big team and are incredibly marketable.
Welcome to football, The (Wayne) Rooney Rule...
Our own FA, who are so intent on having respect for the laws of the game, officials and taking your punishment that they even have a full campaign on it have seemingly undone any good work they could have done in one pathetic appeal which now see's Rooney's EURO 2012 ban reduced from three to two games.
A red card for kicking someone or other such violent behavior is always a three match ban, so the uproar which surrounded the news that this would be the case when Rooney kicked out at Miodrag Dzudovic back in October was laughable enough, but I think in the most part we all expected Rooney and The FA to just take it as what it is; another unfortunate blot on a career which promised so much.
I'm not writing the lad off, he's clearly one of, if not the most talented England player of the last ten to fifteen years, but when you look at his silly sending's off (this being one of them) and various other escapades such as the contract fiasco, not to mention the Granny humping. It makes you wonder what he could have been without all this.
But of course it's not all about him, it's about the conduct of The FA. Some have looked at it as if they were down in Switzerland last week begging with UEFA to allow Rooney to play at the summers tournament. I'm not buying that for one second. I think if anything, The Fa had the bargaining power to head to countries such as Poland & Ukraine and say "You REALLY want to play this tournament without one of the worlds best players? Think of the marketing opportunities and TV audience he attracts for a moment." Basically they had UEFA and tournament organisers over the barrel.
There's also the simpler nature of appealing in the first place. You can almost guarantee that if a similar instance had occurred in the Premier League, it would have been deemed frivolous and extended. I've absolutely no doubt about that. In a world where Michael Turner can have his ban extended for a red card which should never have been in the first place, you can bet your bottom dollar that appealing the actual kicking an opponent would be deemed ridiculous.
There was mounting speculation that should the ban be upheld, he wouldn't have even been on the plane, hard as that is to imagine. Again, that's something I don't buy, and you can bet your right arm that he will be on the plane now and return to the side in the final group game.
It really is just such a shame that it was even appealed. Fabio has gone some way towards blooding some youngsters into the team, and whilst Rooney isn't exactly an old-fogey, the chance for the likes of Danny Welbeck, Daniel Sturridge and hell, even Andy Carroll to stake a claim to be the future of the national side looks to have fallen by the way side, as we now plan for "what will we do for two games" rather than "who can bring back a trophy from Brazil 2014".
So now we'll have to endure another six or seven months of "will he play?" and other such diatribe from the national media. No, he shouldn't, but he will. He's Wayne F**king Rooney, and much like the club where he earns a crust, he can "do what he wants".
In the upshot of all this, I do hope every red-card for the remainder of the season, barring a decapitation is appealed, and all clubs use this Rooney decision as an example so The FA can see just how much they've ballsed up. Them, Rooney & UEFA can all sod off for not being man-enough to take their medicine.