Wayne Rooney will miss the opening three matches of the 2012 European Championships in Poland and Ukraine, UEFA confirmed on Thursday.
"The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body has today handed down a three-match suspension to England forward Wayne Rooney following his dismissal during the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier in Montenegro last Friday," read a statement on the website of European football's governing body.
"Today's decision was taken in relation to the red card shown to Rooney for assault after 74 minutes of England's final Group G game, the 2-2 draw with Montenegro in Podgorica. The striker will now be suspended from playing in his country's next three UEFA national competition matches for which he would be eligible.
"An appeal may be lodged against the verdict of the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body within three days of the dispatch of the reasoned decision."
The England striker was guaranteed to miss the first group match of the finals, after receiving a straight red card in the Three Lions' final qualifier against Montenegro for kicking out at Miodrag Dzudovic with 20 minutes remaining.
The Football Association responded to the news by issuing a brief statement:
"Further to UEFA’s decision to impose a three-match suspension on Wayne Rooney following his sending off against Montenegro, The FA await the full reasons from the disciplinary committee, and will give full consideration to the decision internally, before deciding on any response to UEFA or making any further public comment."
Coach Fabio Capello defended his decision to pick Rooney, who was also sent off in the 2006 World Cup, after the player's father and uncle were arrested the day before and bailed by police over an alleged betting scam.
"It was no mistake to pick him. I spoke with him before the game and he was relaxed and calm, then went out on the pitch and made this silly mistake," the Italian told reporters.
Capello has insisted that Rooney will not earn an automatic recall to the side as a result of his suspension, with the 25-year-old Manchester United forward not expected to start in England's forthcoming internationals against Spain on November 12 and Sweden on November 15, both at Wembley.
"I need to find the solution for the first game, or two games, that Rooney will not play," Capello told reporters. "And if we find that solution, he needs to work to return to the first XI.
"You know me. Sometimes I make mistakes but I try to select the best players, in the best moment of form. There were two I did not select for this game who are doing really well.
"I saw the game that Jermain Defoe played against Arsenal. He did really well. He ran a lot and pressed a lot. Daniel Sturridge is the same.
"I could leave Rooney out. If the others are good they will play. In my life as a manager I have put on the bench a lot of good players.
"Rooney will not play against Spain. I want to test new players, a new style and different movement," added Capello.
"Sometimes he will come on at half-time. But not from the start. We need to prepare the first XI who will start in the Euros.
"I have got a lot of forwards at this moment, really good forwards, and I need to find the best solution.
"I select the player, not the name."comments