Soccer-Legia call on Celtic to withdraw from Champions League


(Updates with Celtic statement in para nine)

Aug 10 (Reuters) - Celtic should turn down their reinstatement in the Champions League and allow Legia Warsaw to take part in the playoff 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, European soccer's governing body, 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.

Polish sources said Legia were happy to have a meeting with Celtic officials in Glasgow or Warsaw to discuss the matter but were not suggesting a one-off match. The club have accused Celtic of ignoring their telephone calls and emails.

"We still hope we can be reinstated," Mioduski told Sky Sports News.

"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."

Celtic responded with a statement saying: "We are disappointed by Legia Warsaw's comments. This is entirely a matter for UEFA and its processes. Accordingly, we will reserve further comment for the appropriate time."

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

Celtic have been drawn against NK Maribor of Slovenia in the Champions League playoff round on Aug. 19 or 20 while Legia are due to play in the Europa League against Aktobe of Kazakhstan. (Writing by Steve Tongue, editing by Pritha Sarkar and Ken Ferris)

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