Rooney given red card deadline by FIFA

July 3, 2006

Wayne Rooney has less than 48 hours to decide whether to defend the actions that led to his sending-off in England's World Cup quarter-final defeat to Portugal.

FIFA today gave the 20-year-old until Thursday to submit a statement over the red card, but Portugal winger Cristiano Ronaldo will not be investigated for his involvement in his Manchester United team-mate's dismissal.

'Whenever there is a direct red card there will be certain legal proceedings,' said FIFA spokesperson Markus Siegler.

'Wayne Rooney has until July 6 to declare himself with a written statement. I cannot say when there will be a decision.'

Rooney was given his marching orders after appearing to stamp on Portugal defender Ricardo Carvalho in the 62nd minute of Saturday's dramatic encounter in Gelsenkirchen.

Despite later claiming this was the sole reason for the England striker's dismissal, referee Horacio Elizondo did not immediately brandish the red card.

It was only when Ronaldo rushed over to remonstrate with the Argentinian official - causing a shocked Rooney to shove the Portugal starlet - that he was sent from the field.

Television pictures later showed Ronaldo winking at the Portugal bench soon after the incident, while footage from before the game appears to show Ronaldo playfully head-butting Rooney, possibly in an attempt to provoke him.

Ronaldo insists he had no intention of getting Rooney sent off, claiming 'Wayne is my friend', but Rooney was reported to have been furious with his Manchester United team-mate, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid this summer.

Siegler announced yesterday that Rooney would be investigated for violent conduct, but the striker told England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson after the game that the alleged stamp on Carvalho was an accident.

Eriksson later admitted Rooney had to go, while none of Rooney's England colleagues have backed his version of events.

He must now decide whether to protest his innocence or apologise and plead for mercy from FIFA's disciplinary committee.