Decision on Celtic's Champions League fate could take 24 hours

Celtic should find out before Thursday lunchtime whether they remain in the Champions League play-offs after Legia Warsaw's appeal against their effective expulsion was heard.

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UEFA's appeals body met on Wednesday morning to listen to the Polish champions' arguments over the registration error that turned their 6-1 aggregate win over Celtic into an away-goals defeat.

A statement from Legia read: "The meeting of the UEFA Appeal Body was held in the morning, with Legia Warsaw co-owner Dariusz Mioduski and his associates present.

"The atmosphere during the meeting was fully professional and the club's representatives were granted the possibility to thoroughly present their stand on the issue.

"The decision of the UEFA Appeal Body is to be announced in the evening or tomorrow morning.

"Legia Warsaw would like to thank the UEFA disciplinary bodies for the prompt organisation of the appeal procedure.

"At the same time, we would like to inform you that until the official decision of the UEFA appeal body is announced the club will not issue any further communication."

Legia forfeited their 2-0 win at Murrayfield in the second leg of the third qualifying round after bringing on defender Bartosz Bereszynski in the 86th minute in the belief that he had served a three-match European ban.

However it later emerged they had not registered him in their squad for the previous round and consequently he had not served the ban under UEFA rules, which allowed its disciplinary body to order a 3-0 win for Celtic.

Celtic were immediately reinstated in the Champions League and were drawn to face Slovenian champions Maribor in the play-offs.

Legia found themselves in the Europa League play-offs facing a trip to Kazakhstan to face Aktobe.

The Poles earlier called on UEFA to follow its own ''football first'' principle when deciding their case after an appeal to Celtic's traditions of fair play was met with "disappointment" by the Glasgow club, who have insisted it is a matter for the European governing body.

Celtic are due to travel to Slovenia for the first leg of the final Champions League qualifiers on Wednesday.

Legia's only recourse after the appeal decision would be to take their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Football

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