Welsh must start campaign without Giggs
Saturday 06 December 2003
Wales will wait until next week before deciding whether to appeal against Ryan Giggs' two-match international sus- pension. If they decide not to, or if any appeal fails, they will have to play their first two World Cup 2006 qualifying ties without their most illustrious player.
The sentence was handed out by Uefa, the European governing body, yesterday just hours before the draw in Frankfurt after the winger was found guilty of misconduct following an elbow on the Russian full-back Vadim Evseev during the Euro 2004 play-off match in Moscow last month.
The Russian Football Union rushed a video of the incident to Uefa with a view to having Giggs banned for the second leg in Cardiff four days later. While that immediate suspension did not materialise and the RFU subsequently withdrew their complaint, Uefa still heard the case, along with a number of disciplinary matters, in Nyon yesterday before announcing their decision.
The Football Association of Wales have always insisted Giggs was heavily provoked beforehand and that he made minimal contact with the Russian, whose goal in the second leg in Cardiff settled the tie.
The Wales manager, Mark Hughes, revealed they will take their time to consider all the options, and possible outcomes, before how to proceed.
Speaking at the World Cup qualifying draw, Hughes said: "We have only just heard ourselves and we have until Monday to make a decision about whether we appeal.
"Looking at the wording of the decision, they [Uefa] appear to accept very little, if any, contact was made and he seems to have been punished for intent. 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."
Earlier this week Giggs was fined £7,500 by the Football Association for his part in the fracas after the Premiership game against Arsenal at Old Trafford on 21 September. Giggs and United are still considering whether to appeal against that punishment.
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