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Legia Warsaw accuse Celtic in row over Champions League spot

The Polish side had brought on a suspended player in the tie

Celtic should turn down their reinstatement in the Champions League and allow Legia Warsaw to take part in the play-off round instead, the Polish club’s owner Dariusz Mioduski claimed today.

Legia were stripped of their place despite beating the  Scottish champions 6-1 on aggregate as they brought on a suspended player, Bartosz Bereszynski, for the last few minutes of the second leg.

Uefa, Europe’s governing body, awarded Celtic a 3-0 win instead of a 2-0 defeat, meaning they won the tie on away goals with an aggregate score of 4-4.

Polish sources said Legia wanted to meet Celtic officials in Glasgow or Warsaw to discuss the matter but were not suggesting a one-off match. The club have accused Celtic of ignoring their telephone calls and emails.

“We still hope we can be reinstated,” Mioduski said. “We accept our mistake but we want Celtic to accept that it was a genuine mistake, a clerical error.

“I don’t know if we can call them our friends any more. The management of the club is going against the values it stands for.

“It’s not just about the money, it’s about what  football stands for, the values of honesty and honour. We still have a hope.”

Mioduski’s plea failed to move the Parkhead club, who said: “We are disappointed by Legia Warsaw’s comments. This is entirely a matter for Uefa and its  processes. Accordingly, we will reserve further comment for the appropriate time.”

Mioduski added Legia would go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne if Uefa turns down their planned appeal.

Celtic have been drawn against NK Maribor of  Slovenia in the Champions League play-off round on 19 or 20 August while Legia are now due to play in the Europa League against Aktobe of Kazakhstan.