Teams: Udinese,Lokomotiv Moscow,Russia NT
Russian ace in drug admission
RUSSIAN soccer star Yegor Titov last night admitted he HAD taken a banned stimulant against Wales in the Euro 2004 play-offs.
Titov's comments come as Uefa's disciplinary panel formally agreed to look at Wales' appeal on Tuesday to get the Russia result overturned.
It also emerged last night that Russia knew Titov had failed his test for taking bromantan way back in November, even though the bombshell news has only just come to light.
Senior FAW officials held a meeting in Brecon yesterday to discuss their strategy for making a formal protest about Titov's eligibility for those two November play-off matches.
But the bad news is Uefa have provisionally told Wales Tuesday's submissions must be made in writing.
Only if, as expected, the case goes against them, would Wales then be able to protest in person and send a high-powered delegation to Uefa's Swiss HQ in Nyon - by appealing against the decision of the appeal!
Hughes is ready to be part of that influential Welsh group, the Wales boss ready to argue to Uefa chiefs himself why he believes his players were put at an unfair disadvantage.
Titov's acknowledgement that he was guilty of taking the banned substance bromantan came just 24 hours after the Spartak Moscow ace insisted he was himself appealing against his 12-month suspension.
Uefa yesterday confirmed Titov had protested against the time-scale of his ban, but not against the failed test following the first play-off match in Moscow.
That means Titov's appeal will not affect Wales' bid to win a place at Euro 2004 at Russia's expense.
When Titov failed the test in November, he did not ask for a second sample to be tested.
A Uefa spokesman explained, "There was no 'B' sample tested, so Titov is not denying that there was a substance in the 'A' test.
"His appeal is only over the time of the suspension, which means he accepts his guilt, and that means his appeal does not impact on the one from the FA of Wales."
FAW secretary David Collins has been given the responsibility of putting together the detailed written document Wales will be sending to Uefa.
"Everything else will be put on the backburner for the next few days. This Russian issue, quite understandably, takes precedence over anything," said Collins.
"If we can only submit a written appeal for the time being, so be it. We have to abide by UefA protocol. I'm awaiting for official confirmation about this from Uefa in the morning.
"But if Uefa say 'no' to our appeal, written or not, we would look at the situation again, re-evaluate and send a delegation out to Switzerland.
"Yes, that delegation would probably include the national team manager. We will spend the next few days speaking to our normal legal and medical people to put together as strong a case as we possibly can.
"We will be looking at precedents from the Olympics, where individuals have failed tests and, as a result, the team they have represented have been stripped of medals."