Celtic have been reinstated to the 2014 Champions League play-offs, after Uefa punished Legia Warsaw for fielding an ineligible player in the return leg of their third qualifying round match.
The Scottish Premier League champions had lost both legs of the tie 6-1 on aggregate.
However, Bartosz Bereszynski, who came on for the Polish club in the 86th minute of Wednesday’s 2-0 win at Murrayfield was supposed to be serving suspension following a red card for violent conduct in last season’s Europa League.
The European football governing body punished Legia Warsaw on Friday by awarding the return leg 3-0 to Celtic, meaning they now progress on away goal, having lost the fist leg 4-1 in Warsaw- a game which they were reduced to ten men after Nigeria international Efe Ambrose was sent off.
Celtic will now play Slovenian club Maribor in the final qualification round.
A Uefa statement said: “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 Warsaw 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.”
Bereszynski was sent off against Apollon in the final match of Legia’s Europa League campaign last season, earning a three-match suspension. He missed both legs of Legia’s tie against St Patrick’s in the second qualifying round and also sat out the 4-1 first-leg victory over Celtic.
However, it has emerged that Bereszynski had not been registered in Legia’s squad for the second qualifying round, and so the matches did not count towards his suspension. Celtic will now face Maribor of Slovenia in their final tie of the champions route to reach the group stage.
Legia Warsaw have five days within which to lodge an appeal, and a statement on the Polish’s club website indicated they had requested UEFA’s reasoning for the ruling before making a decision.
Celtic will visit Maribor in the first leg of the qualifiers on either 19 or 20 August.
Uefa Champions League Play-Off Draw
Besiktas vs. Arsenal
Standard Liege vs. Zenit
FC Copenhagen vs. Bayer Leverkusen
Lille vs. Porto
Napoli vs. Athletic Bilbao.