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Celts stay in Champions League as Legia's plea is rejected

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."

Legia president Boguslaw Lesnodorski echoed Mioduski's pledge. He tweeted: "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.

Prepared

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. Before the verdict, Hoops manager Ronny Deila (pictured, above) spoke only about facing Maribor in the play-off.

He said: "We have prepared for Maribor. They are a good team and they have been the champions of Slovenia in the last three years.

"It is hard to say if they are better or worse (than Legia Warsaw) but they are a good team.

"We can do much better than we did against Legia and we will play at Celtic Park and those two things can be good for us. I have seen European nights at Celtic Park and I understand why you get results there and that's because you have unbelievable fans behind you."


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