Over half of Brits agree with England manager Fabio Capello’s decision to allow Wayne Rooney to play for England in tonight’s Euro 2012 qualifier in Switzerland, despite recent allegations that he was seeing a prostitute during wife Coleen’s pregnancy last year, our survey results show.
53% of Brits think that the striker should be allowed to play against Switzerland in today’s match, compared to 27% who think that he should be kept off the pitch after his extra-marital foul play.
On the pitch play
Capello today announced that Rooney would still be joining the team in Switzerland, regardless of the allegations, and said that it was only Rooney’s on-field performance he was concerned with. In response to suggestions he is treating Rooney with more leniency than he did John Terry, who was stripped of his England captaincy when his extra-marital affair was revealed, Capello reminded fans that '[Terry] played in all of the games, I never suspended him'.
Captain Steven Gerrard agrees, explaining that ‘Wayne is a big character. You expect big performances from Wayne every time he steps on the pitch. He is a world-class player…I expect another big performance from Wayne like I do every time I play with him.’ He added: ‘I don't think the issue off the pitch will stop him playing well.’
It seems the public does not yet think that off-pitch scandals should necessarily translate to a ban on play – good news for Capello, who, given the long list of allegedly unfaithful England players, could face a seriously depleted squad if ‘playing away’ became a suspending offence.