Celtic retain Champions League place after Uefa reject Legia Warsaw's appeal, but Polish club will take it to CAS

Celtic face Maribor for a place in the Champions League group stage

Celtic have retained their Champions League place after Legia Warsaw's appeal against their exclusion was dismissed by UEFA.

Legia were found to have fielded an ineligible player, Bartosz Bereszynski, in the second leg of their third qualifying round clash against the Glasgow giants which they won 2-0 to follow a 4-1 first-leg success. Celtic were duly awarded a 3-0 win and progressed on away goals.

The Polish side's appeal was heard by UEFA's Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body and after receiving the decision on Thursday, club owner Dariusz Mioduski wrote on Twitter: "At this stage, unfortunately, has not won football ... We're going to CAS."

The verdict was confirmed in a UEFA statement which read: "The UEFA Appeals Body met yesterday following an appeal by Legia Warszawa against the decision taken by the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body on 8 August.

"The appeal lodged by the Polish club was rejected and, therefore, the original decision of the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body is confirmed.

"The Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body had sanctioned Legia for fielding a suspended player (Article 18 of the Regulations of the UEFA Champions League, 2014/15 competition, and Article 21 of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, 2014 edition) in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round return leg against Celtic FC in Edinburgh on 6 August. That match has been declared as a forfeit, meaning Legia lost 3-0."

Legia president Boguslaw Lesnodorski echoed Mioduski's pledge to take the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

He wrote on Twitter: "Negative decision, it's hard even to comment, we are using the CAS (we plan to tomorrow) and otherwise we are focused only on the games."

Legia believed Bereszynski's suspension had been served after he missed both legs of the previous qualifier against St Patrick's Athletic as well as the first leg against Celtic, but their failure to register him for the St Pat's tie proved costly.

Celtic will therefore face Slovenian side Maribor in the play-off round, leaving Legia to take on Aktobe of Kazakhstan in the Europa League play-off.

PA

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