Early Doors

Legia ask Celtic to withdraw amid confusion over potential rematch

Early Doors

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Celtic should turn down their reinstatement in the Champions League and allow Legia Warsaw to take part in the play-off round instead, the Polish club's owner Dariusz Mioduski said on Sunday.

Legia were stripped of their place despite beating the Scottish champions 6-1 on aggregate because they brought on a suspended player, Bartosz Bereszynski, for the last few minutes of the second leg.

UEFA awarded Celtic a 3-0 win instead of a 2-0 defeat, meaning they won the tie on away goals with an aggregate score of 4-4.

The club had previously accused Celtic of ignoring their telephone calls and emails on the day of the hearing after Zbigniew Boniek, the legendary player who now runs Polish football, claimed Legia would have kept their place with Celtic's consent.

Polish sources said Legia were happy to have a meeting with Celtic officials in Glasgow or Warsaw to discuss the matter.

This after widespread reports on Sunday that Legia had, in fact, offered a rematch but those were soon dismissed by British-based Polish journalist Robert T. Błaszczak.

However, Mioduski was very forthright with his views later on Sunday when he spoke to Sky Sports News.

"We still hope we can be reinstated," said Mioduski.

"We have tried to contact their management repeatedly. We accept our mistake but we want Celtic to accept that it was a genuine mistake, a clerical error.

"I don't know if we can call them our friends anymore. The management of the club is going against the values the club stands for.

"It's not just about the money, it's about what football stands for, the values of honesty and honour. We still have a hope we will be reinstated."

Mioduski added that Legia would go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne if UEFA turn down their planned appeal.

Celtic have been drawn against NK Maribor of Slovenia in the Champions League play-off round on August 19 or 20 while Legia are due to play in the Europa League against Aktobe of Kazakhstan.

Reuters / Eurosport

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