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Rooney's Dad Arrested In Betting Probe, But English Star Is Ready To Play

After it was announced today that the father of English soccer star Wayne Rooney has been arrested as part of an investigation into betting at a Scottish Premier League match, news outlets in the U.K. got right to the bottom of what they must think is the really important part of the story:

Will Rooney still play in Friday's match between England's national team and Montenegro?

And the answer, as The Guardian says, is yes:

"England coach Fabio Capello says Wayne Rooney is ready to play ... on Friday despite his father's arrest."

"I spoke to him just five minutes ago," Capello said. "I found him relaxed and calm. There is no problem for the game, he will play tomorrow against Montenegro. He told me there are no problems."

As soccer fans know well, Rooney (who turns 26 later this month) plays professionally with Manchester United.

According to the BBC, "Wayne Rooney Sr. is one of nine men who were arrested on Thursday in a probe into betting irregularities." The younger Rooney, The Associated Press adds, "has not been implicated in the investigation."

The men who have been arrested also include an uncle of the soccer star, and a player — Steve Jennings — from the Scottish team Motherwell. Basically, authorities suspect that bets were placed on the likelihood that a player in a Motherwell match last December would receive a "red card" and be ejected from the field. Jennings was given a red card.

Jennings' team has posted a statement saying it is aware of the investigation, and has no further comment at this time.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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