8 August 2014 11:34
Celtic are back in the UEFA Champions League at the expense of Legia Warsaw after the Polish champions fielded an ineligible player.
A UEFA investigation began following Legia’s 6-1 aggregate win over Ronny Deila’s side after the introduction of Bartosz Bereszynski, who should have been serving a suspension, in the 86th minute of the second leg on Wednesday.
Legia were already 2-0 ahead in the second leg, and five goals clear of their hosts, at Murrayfield when the attacker replaced Michel Zyro.
And Europe’s governing body confirmed on Friday that Legia will now compete in the UEFA Europa League play-offs, with Celtic taking their place in the Champions League play-offs – a decision which the Warsaw club revealed that they will appeal against.
Bereszynski’s was given a three-match ban after being dismissed in Legia’s last continental clash against Apollon in December 2013.
With 21 minutes remaining of the Europa League Group J match in Cyprus the 22-year-old received a straight red card.
Legia announced on Thursday that they were being investigated by UEFA following Bereszynski’s second-leg cameo appearance and the governing body have now revealed their decision to throw them out of Europe’s premier club competition.
The former Lech Poznan defender will also serve an additional one-match suspension.
A UEFA statement said: “The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body has met today and announced the following disciplinary decision following the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie in Edinburgh between Celtic FC and Legia Warszawa on 6 August 2014.
“Legia have been sanctioned for fielding an ineligible player (article 18 of the UEFA Champions League regulations and article 21 of the Disciplinary Regulations). The match has been declared as forfeit meaning Legia Warszawa have lost the match 3-0.
“As a consequence, Celtic have qualified for the UEFA Champions League play-offs on away goals (agg: 4-4) and Legia will compete in the UEFA Europa League play-offs.
“In addition the player Bartosz Bereszynski has been suspended for one additional UEFA competition match for which he would be otherwise eligible.
“This suspension shall be added to the remaining two match suspension which the player still has to serve in accordance with the Control and Disciplinary Body decision of 13 February 2014.”