Elizondo clears Ronaldo
By Simon Fudge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Horacio Elizondo says Wayne Rooney was sent off for his stamp on Ricardo Carvalho.
Referee Horacio Elizondo says he sent Wayne Rooney off against Portugal because of his stamp on Ricardo Carvalho.
The Argentine official was caught in the middle of what turned out to be a pivotal moment of Saturday's World Cup quarter final, as England were eventually knocked out on penalties in Gelsenkirchen.
His decision to show the Manchester United star a red card proved a major influence on England's exit from Germany 2006, with Elizondo insisting his decision to send off Rooney was not influenced by Portugal's ensuing protests.
It leaves Cristiano Ronaldo in the clear after Rooney's Manchester United team-mate was initially accused of trying to persuade the South American to show the England striker a red card.
"It was violent play and therefore he got a red card," Elizondo told The Times.
"People can say what they want, 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.
"Sven Goran Eriksson went to the locker-room after the match and congratulated me for an excellent performance and said that I was right to send off Rooney because it was rough play."
Rooney protested his innocence over his actions, but Elizondo's admission is likely to do little to help the former Everton goalscorer's chances of avoiding an international suspension.
The controversy surrounding the sending off of Rooney has not bothered Elizondo, claiming he takes little notice to the attentions of the media.
"I've never thought about it and to be honest, I don't care," he added.
"If people or newspapers would like to create stories like that, it's up to them. I really don't care."