The referee who sent off England striker Wayne Rooney in Montenegro on Friday believes the striker's reaction to his decision could spare him a longer suspension.

German official Wolfgang Stark dismissed the Manchester United man for a kick at Miodrag Dzudovic, meaning he is certain to miss the first game of next summer's European Championships.

That one-game ban could be increased to two, though, depending on how UEFA view the incident which occurred 17 minutes from time as England booked its place in Poland and Ukraine.

But Stark has praised Rooney for how he accepted the decision and is now waiting to see what the governing body decide.

Stark was quoted in a number of national newspapers as saying: "He accepted it without dissent. Maybe it will help Rooney the way he acted by accepting my decision.

"It was a straight red card. I had no hesitation. You saw what happened and Rooney knew by his reaction. He just walked off.

"I have no more input into the process. I will submit my report and it is up to UEFA what they will do."