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Giggs handed two-match ban by UEFA

Ryan Giggs is handed UEFA sanction
Ryan Giggs is handed UEFA sanction

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LONDON, England -- UEFA have banned Wales winger Ryan Giggs for two international matches for elbowing an opponent.

The Manchester United star was found guilty of elbowing Russia's Vadim Yevseyev during the 0-0 Euro 2004 playoff first leg draw in Moscow on November 15.

Wales lost the return leg in Cardiff 1-0, thereby failing to qualify for Euro 2004, which means Giggs will miss the first two qualifiers for the 2006 World Cup.

The ban does not apply to friendlies.

Giggs lashed out at Yevseyev minutes after being hurt by a strong tackle from the Russian defender during the second half of the first leg match in Moscow.

He avoided punishment from the referee but Russia later complained and UEFA charged Giggs with improper conduct, although he was free to play in the second leg of the playoff.

Yevseyev scored the winning goal for Russia in Cardiff to book their place at next year's finals in Portugal.

Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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