Updated at 18.50 with UEFA’s reaction
CELTIC WILL TRAVEL to Spain later this week as planned after UEFA upheld its decision to expel Swiss club FC Sion from the Europa League.
The SPL outfit confirmed the news on their website, stating: “Clearly, Celtic are pleased with the decision.”
A statement continued: “The UEFA Appeals Body rejected FC Sion’s appeal against their expulsion from the group stages of this season’s Europa League.
“Celtic were reinstated to the competition, and will take on Atletico Madrid, Udinese and Rennes. The first match takes place this Thursday, September 15 at the Vicente Calderon Stadium in Madrid.”
A court in Switzerland declared earlier on Tuesday that Sion should be re-admitted to the competition. A Sion statement read: “The civil court has ordered UEFA to admit FC Sion as a participant in the 2011-12 Europa League and to take all the measures necessary to include them in Group I of the UEFA Europa League for which FC Sion have qualified.
“The Canton de Vaud Tribune also orders UEFA to consider the players Stefan Glarner, Billy Ketkeophomphone, Mario Mutsch, Pascal Feindouno, Jose Goncalves and Gabri as eligible as FC Sion players and to admit them in the 2011-12 UEFA Europa League. The order has been declared immediately binding.”
However, UEFA did not make any legal argument before the court and subsequently rejected the appeal made through its own channels. In a statement later issues through UEFA’s website, Michel Platini said:
“We have clear rules and regulations that all clubs know before they enter our competitions. We cannot accept that if one individual club does not get its own way then it goes through any possible system to force its will on the others. Two independent disciplinary bodies have ruled on this issue and we must abide by their decisions.”
Sion beat Celtic 3-1 on aggregate when the teams met on the field in a Europa League play-off before the Swiss side were later expelled for fielding several ineligible players. The club’s next course has yet to be confirmed, but officials can appeal to CAS, the Court of Arbitration for Sport.