Rooney ban reduced to two matches

Wayne Rooney's UEFA EURO 2012 ban has been reduced to two matches following a successful appeal to UEFA, and he will now be available for England's third group match against Ukraine.

UEFA's three-man appeals panel today reduced his original three-match ban, which was imposed for his red card against Montenegro.

Rooney and England manager Fabio Capello attended the hearing at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, this morning, while the Football Association also sent a team of four lawyers - including a QC - to UEFA to support Rooney's appeal.

Rooney himself had admitted it was "stupid" to have kicked Miodrag Dzudovic, and the Montenegrin sent a statement on the Manchester United striker's behalf.

Rooney's two-match ban means he misses the Group D opener against France on 11 June in Donetsk and also the second game against Sweden in Kiev on 15 June, but can now face host nation Ukraine on 19 June in Donetsk.

Club England managing director Adrian Bevington told reporters in Nyon: "It is a positive outcome, Wayne and Fabio are both very pleased. Wayne will now head back to Manchester, they are both very satisfied that they have had a fair hearing.

"Wayne always made it clear he accepted it was a red card offence and we are very pleased with the outcome. We arrived with the possibility of Wayne Rooney missing the entire group phase so to have him available for the final group game against Ukraine is a positive result for us and Wayne Rooney as well."

UEFA statement
UEFA said in a statement: "The appeals body today decided that the player's red card during the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier in Montenegro on 7 October should incur a two-match suspension, with a further one-game ban for UEFA European Championship football only suspended for four years, instead of the three-match ban handed down by UEFA's control and disciplinary Body on 13 October.

"Rooney will also spend a day supporting a UEFA project as part of the sentence."