• Legia co-owner: Let’s settle this matter honourably
• Polish side say punishment is ‘unfair and contradictory’
Legia Warsaw have written to Celtic to request a meeting decide who should advance to the Champions League play-off round.
Celtic were beaten 6-1 on aggregate in the third qualifying round but, because the Polish champions fielded the ineligible Bartosz Bereszynski as a substitute in the second leg, Ronny Deila’s side were handed a 3-0 walkover win and therefore progressed on away goals.
Celtic will now face Maribor in the play-off round later this month but Legia do not consider the matter as over and implored the Scottish side to agree to discuss the matter.
“I call you to act according to the spirit of the game and rules of fair play – to issue a joint statement to the Uefa disciplinary bodies. Let’s meet in Warsaw or in Glasgow and let’s settle this matter honourably,” wrote the Legia co-owner Dariusz Mioduski in the letter.
Mioduski also labelled punishment as “deeply unfair and contradictory” and quoted the legendary Celtic manager Willie Maley before adding: “I call on you to refer to your best traditions of honour and honesty, that your famous club has been known for during the last 126 years. Do not destroy the beautiful legacy, that you inherited from the past generations of The Bhoys.”
Whether Celtic are open to the idea remains to be seen but Deila was quick to express him sympathies for Legia, and their manager and fellow Norwegian, Henning Berg, following the Uefa ruling last week.
“It is very strange, I have to say that. First of all I feel very sorry for Legia, and my friends from Norway there,” he said.
“It is tough to think of that and now we are in the Champions League. That is what Uefa said, we haven’t been involved in anything. I am a football manager and I have to go with it and now we are preparing for Maribor.”
Bereszynski was suspended for last week’s second leg at Murrayfield but emerged off the bench with four minutes remaining.