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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 March, 2004, 12:58 GMT
Uefa 'denies natural justice'
Egor Titov
Football Association of Wales member Alun Evans says the attitude taken to Wales' appeal against Russia may count against Uefa at a European court.

The ex-FAW secretary claims limiting the FAW's appeal to get Russia removed from Euro 2004 following Egor Titov's drugs ban could work in Wales' favour.

"Uefa's principle is that an appeal is against the severity of a punishment and guilt is already proven," he said.

"It's inflexible and Wales' chance to argue will be at the European court."

Given Uefa's attitude, Evans expressed surprise at the size of the FAW contingent being taken to Switzerland for Friday's hearing into the case.

"When I heard they were taking eight people I thought it was more to do with the self importance of some people rather than the need to make a case," Evans told BBC Sport Wales.

What matters is not Euro 2004, but the principle of drug abuse in football
Alun Evans
"Uefa's appeal procedure has never been fair, I encountered it a few years ago when Clayton Blackmore was sent off in a Wales international.

"They presume guilt, and that's not what an appeal procedure should be about."

Despite the frustrations, Evans insists that the FAW's presentation at Friday's meeting is far from being a waste of time.

"It is one of the stages that has to be gone through before taking the case to the Court for Arbitration in Sport, which is the only chance Wales have ever had.

"Uefa's attitude could help in the long run because natural justice is being denied.

"I believe the FAW have a good case as football has to accept that in the modern world people must be able to make their case properly.

"I'm not sure that Wales will be able to get to Portugal because time is running out and the delay in hearing the charges hasn't helped.

"What matters, though, is not Euro 2004, but the principle of drug abuse in football, that's why the FAW have to make their case."

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