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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

UEFA rejects Legia Warsaw appeal

Celtic have retained their place in the Champions League playoffs 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 dismissed the Polish side's request to hold a meeting to resolve the matter and UEFA's control and disciplinary body has now rejected their appeal.

A UEFA statement read: "The UEFA Appeals Body met yesterday following an appeal by Legia Warszawa against the decision taken by the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body on Aug. 8.

"The appeal lodged by the Polish club was rejected and, therefore, the original decision of the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body is confirmed.

"The Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body had sanctioned Legia for fielding a suspended player (Article 18 of the Regulations of the UEFA Champions League, 2014-15 competition, and Article 21 of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, 2014 edition) in the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round return leg against Celtic FC in Edinburgh on Aug. 6. That match has been declared as a forfeit, meaning Legia lost 3-0."

Legia owner Dariusz Mioduski subsequently wrote on Twitter that his club would now appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Legia president Boguslaw Lesnodorski added on Twitter: "Negative decision, it's hard even to comment. We are using the CAS (we plan to tomorrow) and otherwise we are focused only on the games."

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 playoff 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.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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