Celtic face appeal as Legia hit out at Uefa's 'unfair' ban
Friday 08 August 2014
Celtic have been reinstated to the Champions League play-offs after their opponents in the qualifying round, Legia Warsaw, were thrown out of the competition for fielding an ineligible player as a late substitute.
However, they must still await the outcome of a likely appeal from the Poles, who were angry at the decision claiming it was caused by a clerical error.
For now, the reprieve has earned Celtic a tie with the Slovenian champions Maribor in the final play-off round. Legia had won the third-round qualifier 6-1 on aggregate on Wednesday, following up their 4-1 victory in the first leg with a 2-0 win at Murrayfield. But the Polish side brought on Bartosz Bereszynski in the 86th minute of the second leg, even though he was suspended for the game.
Legia official Dominik Ebebenge said the club would appeal, and blamed human error for failing to register the player in question for previous qualifying games, meaning those matches did not count toward his three-game suspension.
“The proportion between the error and the consequences is unimaginable,” Ebebenge said after receiving Uefa’s verdict one hour before yesterday’s draw for the Champions League play-offs. “The spirits of the players are broken.”
Celtic were awarded a 3-0 victory for the second leg, meaning the Scottish champions progress on away goals with the aggregate score at 4-4. It is the second time in four seasons that Celtic have been reinstated in a Uefa competition. In 2011, the Swiss club Sion were ejected from the Europa League after fielding five ineligible players in their victory over Celtic.
Celtic’s manager Ronny Deila admitted the reinstatement left him feeling “very strange”, adding: “I feel very sorry for Legia.” When asked if he felt embarrassed, given the fact that his team had been outplayed, he replied: “Legia played well against us, but this is nothing to do with Celtic. It is about Uefa. It is not my business.”
The Legia manager, Henning Berg, found the judgement hard to fathom, saying: “It’s very, very difficult to take and I think it goes against every intention of fair play and fair competition.”
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Tottenham player ratings: Mesut Ozil? Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain? Nacer Chadli? Who was the star man at the Emirates?
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Stoke City vs Newcastle analysis: Window woes leave Alan Pardew bereft of flair
Manchester United risk Uefa row over plan to play lucrative midweek friendlies
Cristiano Ronaldo banner: This is how Real Madrid striker reacted to the stunt by Manchester United fans
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 3 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before character like Homer or Lisa
- 4 British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so