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Legia Warsaw appeal rejected as Celtic keep place

ESPN staff
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Celtic were thrashed by Legia Warsaw in the Champions League but remain in the competition © AP
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Celtic have retained their place in the Champions League play-offs after UEFA rejected Legia Warsaw's appeal.

Despite winning 6-1 against Celtic on aggregate in the third qualification round, Legia were eliminated from the competition after fielding an ineligible player for the final minutes of the second leg.

Celtic had rejected the Polish side's appeal to hold a meeting to resolve the matter and UEFA's control and disciplinary body has now rejected their appeal.

UEFA had applied rules on ineligible players to award the game by forfeit to Celtic, with the 3-0 win taking the Scottish champions through on away goals.

The decision was made little over an hour before the draw for the play-off round, which paired Celtic with Slovenian side Maribor, while Legia were handed a Europa League tie in Kazakhstan.

Legia stated that the decision was made "under pressure of time and circumstances" and expressed hope that the appeal body consider the mitigating circumstances and use its powers to impose a less strict sanction or withdraw it altogether.

Celtic have said little on the matter other than that they were disappointed with Legia's appeal to the club's traditions on Sunday.

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