Dariusz Mioduski: Celtic's Champions League exit justified

Maribor and Celtic players
Celtic lost 1-0 to Maribor in Glasgow, giving the Slovenians at 2-1 aggregate win

Legia Warsaw chairman Dariusz Mioduski feels "justice was served" after Celtic went out of the Champions League.

Celtic were reinstated to the competition after the Polish club were punished for fielding an ineligible player against the Scottish champions.

But Ronny Deila's side lost the play-off 2-1 on aggregate to NK Maribor.

"The team that didn't deserve to be there because they didn't win on the pitch finally will not be there," Mioduski told BBC Radio Scotland.

Celtic's qualifying results
KR Reykjavik 0-1 CelticCeltic 4-0 KR Reykjavik
Legia Warsaw 4-1 CelticCeltic 0-2 Legia (subsequently forfeited 3-0 in Celtic's favour)
NK Maribor 1-1 CelticCeltic 0-1 NK Maribor

"Not surprisingly, the general feeling - I don't think only in my head but generally in Poland - is that life writes its own story and the story here was about a little bit of justice on the field.

"Even though I feel for the Celtic fans, who had a second chance, I think there is a little bit of truth to the fact that justice was served.

"I expected Celtic to go through. I thought they would get their house in order and they would be able to get through against Maribor so it was a surprise."

Celtic and Legia Warsaw players
Celtic were awarded a 3-0 win over Legia Warsaw, sending the Scottish side through on away goals

Legia beat Celtic 4-1 and 2-0 in the third qualifying round but the fielding of Bartosz Bereszynski as a late substitute in the second leg ultimately cost Mioduski's club.

The player had been due to serve a three-match European ban at the start of this season and did not feature in the second qualifying round win over St Patrick's Athletic or the first leg against Celtic.

However, it transpired that midfielder Bereszynski had not been registered in the squad to face St Patrick's and thus had not served all of his ban by the time he appeared against Celtic.

Celtic were subsequently awarded a 3-0 win, giving them an away goals win from a 4-4 aggregate score.

Appeals at the levels of Uefa and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) proved unsuccessful but Legia remain eager to clarify the rule under which they were punished.

"The penalty's clear but the rule itself is not clear and we tried to clarify that rule in front of Cas," Mioduski explained.

"Hopefully we'll get the rule changed for all the clubs, including Celtic and Legia."

Legia hold a 1-0 advantage over Aktobe of Kazakhstan ahead of Thursday's Europa League play-off return leg in Poland.

And, with Celtic consigned to the Europa League group stage following their Champions League exit, the prospect of a rematch between the Scottish and Polish sides remains a distinct possibility.

Mioduski acknowledges such a match-up would make for "a great story" but admits he would have concerns about the potentially high emotions around the fixtures.

"We'll see what is the next story that life writes, maybe it will happen," added Mioduski.

"Aktobe has proven that it's a good club so tomorrow is a very important match and I will be the last one to presume that this is all over and we will be in the group phase."

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