Poland's Legia lose Champions League appeal

SAM HOLDEN
Last updated 02:49 15/08/2014

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Polish champions Legia Warsaw have lost an appeal to UEFA against their elimination from the Champions League after they fielded a suspended player against Celtic, the club's co-owner Dariusz Mioduski said on Thursday (local time).

"Having UEFA overturn its decision, we felt for the sake of football this would be the best result. Unfortunately it appears that procedures are more important," Mioduski told Sky Sports.

Legia were stripped of their place in the final qualifying round despite beating Scottish champions Celtic 6-1 on aggregate because they brought on Bartosz Bereszynski, who was suspended, for the last few minutes of the second leg they won 2-0 at Murrayfield last week.

UEFA awarded Celtic a 3-0 win as punishment meaning the Scottish side advanced on away goals after the tie finished 4-4 on aggregate.

Legia thought Bereszynski was eligible but because he had not been registered in their squad for their previous three matches he had not sufficiently served the ban.

Legia will now appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). "It looks like the Court of Arbitration will be busy with our case because that's what we intend to do (appeal it there)," Mioduski added.

"We believe this is not just about Legia but football generally and the sense of fairness and justice.

"We will have to adopt the fast-track method because our intention is to reinstate us before the Wednesday (Champions League fourth qualifying round) games so we will work today and tomorrow to launch the appeal and hopefully by Monday we will have the result."

As it stands, Celtic are set to face Slovenian champions Maribor away on August 20 in the next round of qualification for European football's premier competition.

The winners of the two-legged tie would book a place in the lucrative group stages.

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- Reuters

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