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
Brighton vs Arsenal: FA Cup match preview
Cristiano Ronaldo vine: Real Madrid forward sent-off for kicking and striking opponent during 2-1 win over Cordoba
What time is the 2015 WWE Royal Rumble on? TV details and full card
Sam Burgess: Bath and England's next big thing
Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 1 Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
- 2 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 3 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners