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Last Updated: Friday, 5 December, 2003, 16:44 GMT
Giggs gets Wales ban
Ryan Giggs tangles with Russia's Vadim Evseev
Ryan Giggs tangles with Russia's Vadim Evseev in Moscow
Ryan Giggs will miss Wales' first two matches in their World Cup 2006 qualifying campaign after being found guilty of elbowing an opponent.

The Manchester United wing clashed with Russian opponent Vadim Evseev during the first leg of Wales' Euro 2004 play-off tie in Moscow last month.

Even though Russia withdrew their initial citing after failing to have Giggs banned for the second leg, Uefa's disciplinary committee handed out the ban in Nyon, Switzerland, on Friday.

Giggs had only been charged with improper conduct - which normally carries just a fine - rather than the more serious charge of violent conduct.

But European football's governing body decided the incident was serious enough to merit a match suspension for the 30-year-old.

Should Wales decide to launch an appeal, they must do so to Uefa within three days, but they will wait until next week before deciding what to do.

"Looking at the wording of the decision, Uefa appear to accept very little, if any, contact was made and he seems to have been punished for intent," said Wales manager Mark Hughes.

"The worry is that if you do appeal and it goes against you, the punishment may be increased so we have to weigh that into the equation."

The Football Association of Wales had pointed to the extreme provocation Giggs had been subjected to by Russia's players, including a tackle the player described as "the worst I've had to contend with".

It means Giggs will be forced to sit out the opening to what many see as his last attempt to play in a major finals, the draw for which was made on Friday.

Wales were drawn in a mouth-watering group with England and Northern Ireland.

Poland, Austria and Azerbaijan were also drawn in Group Six.

Uefa's decision concludes a miserable week for Giggs, who was fined earlier this week for his part in the Premiership melee at Old Trafford against Arsenal in September.

Giggs is already unhappy at the FA's decision to fine him 7,500 for his part in the fracas in the 0-0 draw.

He is still considering whether to appeal against that punishment, which has scarred an almost unblemished disciplinary record for the club.

England get seeding boost
03 Dec 03  |  Internationals

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