Newcastle have been hit by the news that midfielder Lee Bowyer is still ineligible to play in Europe after UEFA confirmed he has yet to serve a six-match ban.

Bowyer believed the lengthy suspension, imposed when he was a LLeeds player, had been completed. This season Newcastle have played two Champions League qualifying matches and four UEFA Cup games.

Although Bowyer was excluded from the squads for those games, UEFA have stated he should have been declared ‘eligible to play’ when the club submitted their player lists before each game.

So, due to an administrative error, Bowyer has actually started his ban.

Despite an appeal by Newcastle and the Football Association, a ruling made by UEFA’s control and disciplinary body was recently upheld by the internal appeals court.