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Six-match ban on Lee Bowyer

Nyon: Leeds United midfielder Lee Bowyer was banned for six matches by Uefa on Wednesday for stamping on an opponent’s head during a Uefa Cup match against Malaga last month.

[A late report adds that West Ham United completed the signing of Bowyer, hours after he was given the ban. The English Premier League’s bottom club announced the news on their website.]

Uefa announced the heavy punishment after finding Bowyer guilty of “an act of serious assault, stamping on an opponent’s head” in the third-round match at Elland Road on December 12.

Bowyer has until 2300 GMT on Saturday to lodge an appeal against the suspension, which applies only to European club competitions. Television replays showed Bowyer treading on Malaga defender Gerardo in the 16th minute of the second-leg clash, which Malaga won 2-1 to eliminate Leeds by the same score on aggregate.

Leeds manager Terry Venables later said the 26-year-old had admitted standing on Gerardo. Although Uefa said the ban would “take effect immediately”, Bowyer will not actually serve the suspension until his club plays again in European club competition.

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