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Newcastle hit by Bowyer ban mix-up

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NEWCASTLE, England -- Lee Bowyer will miss Newcastle's next six European games because of a mix-up with UEFA over an outstanding suspension.

Newcastle failed to name Bowyer in their list of eligible players for European matches at the start of the season, meaning the ban earned while the midfielder was a Leeds player has only just come into force.

Newcastle had hoped to include Bowyer in their squad for Thursday's UEFA Cup clash with Valerenga of Norway.

But UEFA said on Tuesday that Newcastle, who have played six games in Europe this season, had misunderstood the rules.

"For a player to serve his ban, he needs to first be listed as an eligible player," a UEFA spokesman said. "This is nothing new."

Newcastle however said in a statement on their Web site that they were "extremely disappointed" by UEFA's decision.

"We expected fair play and a common sense approach but now further appeals appear futile," the statement said.

Bowyer earned the ban during Leeds United's UEFA Cup clash with Malaga in December 2002. He joined Newcastle last May after a brief spell with West Ham.

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