Legia Warsaw to appeal CL exclusion

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epapix-iol spt aug12 Legia-Celtic EPA Legia Warsaw have filed an appeal against their dramatic axing from the Champions League in favour of Celtic.EPA/ROBERT PERRY

Geneva – Legia Warsaw have filed an appeal against their dramatic axing from the Champions League in favour of Celtic, Uefa said on Tuesday.

In a statement, European football's governing body said that the last-ditch attempt by the Polish powerhouses to recover their berth would be on the table at a Uefa appeals hearing on August 13.

Scottish giants Celtic were mauled 6-1 on aggregate by Legia in the qualifying third round, but the Poles were kicked out of the competition because they had fielded an illegible player in the August 6 second leg in Edinburgh.

As a result, the match was declared a 3-0 forfeit, making the aggregate score 4-4, and giving Celtic the edge because they scored more away goals.

In last Friday's draw for the play-offs, the Scottish champions found themselves pitted against Slovenian champions Maribor.

Legia, meanwhile, dropped into the Europa League, where they were matched with Kazakh side FC Aktobe.

The Uefa sanction was related to Legia's decision to field defender Bartosz Bereszynski.

Bereszynski, who only played four minutes at the end of the second leg against Celtic, had been sent off in Legia's concluding Europa League match last season.

He was suspended for violent conduct for the club's two matches against Ireland's St Patrick's in the second qualifying round and also missed the 4-1 first-leg victory over Celtic last week.

But it then emerged that Bereszynski had not been registered in Legia's squad for the second qualifying round, meaning the matches did not count towards his suspension.

Celtic have gained from a Uefa sanction before.

During the 2011-12 Europa League group stages, they kept their berth despite a qualifying defeat by Switzerland's FC Sion, who were thrown out for fielding five ineligible players. – Sapa-AFP


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