Ronaldo cleared over Rooney red card

July 4, 2006

Referee Horacio Elizondo insists Portugal winger Cristiano Ronaldo did not influence his decision to send off England striker Wayne Rooney in Saturday's World Cup quarter-final.

Manchester United forward Rooney appeared to stamp on Ricardo Carvalho after an hour of the match, which England went on to lose after a penalty shoot-out.

Ronaldo infuriated his United club colleague by calling for referee Elizondo to punish Rooney and the Liverpudlian pushed his Red Devils team-mate in anger.

But Argentinian Elizondo has confirmed the fiery Rooney was dismissed for the original foul.

He told The Times: 'It was violent play and therefore he got a red card.

'People can say what they want (about Ronaldo) but this had absolutely no influence.

'In general I don't pay much attention to that sort of thing because I don't care about the pressure on my shoulders during a match.

'For me it was a clear red card, so I didn't react to the Portuguese players. There was pushing and shoving on both sides but for me it wasn't a reason to caution anybody.'