Scottish Premiership champions Celtic are safe to continue competing in the Champions League qualification stages after Legia Warsaw see their bid to be reinstated into the competition denied, reports the Guardian. Legia had beaten Celtic 6-1 over two legs during their round 2 qualification match, but were subsequently penalised for fielding an ineligible player.
The first leg in Warsaw saw Celtic lose four-one, whilst they were also beaten two-nil at Celtic Park in the second leg. However, Legia fielded Bartosz Bereszynski as a second half substitute in the last game, even though the player was still technically banned. As a result, the two-nil win was discarded, Celtic were awarded a three-nil win, and subsequently progressed onto the next round via the away goals rule.
Legia’s basis for appeal surrounded their belief that Bereszynski was eligible to play, and that his inclusion did nothing to prevent a convincing score-line. The player had been sent off in Legia’s last European game of last season, and had sat out their first three matches – including the first leg against Celtic – of this year. However, due to an administrative error, the player was not included in the previous squads at all, and was therefore still technically banned.
Despite the high-scoring nature of their victory over Celtic, Uefa have deemed it impossible to reverse Legia’s expulsion from this season’s Champions League tournament. As a result, the Scottish Club will progress into the last round of qualifying, where they will face Maribor on Wednesday. Should they beat the Slovenian outfit, then they will feature in the Champions League proper this season.