Jose Goncalves wants to face Celtic despite Fifa warning

Jose Goncalves
Goncalves spent four years with Hearts and is keen to return to Scotland

Sion defender Jose Goncalves expects to play against Celtic in Thursday night's Europa League match, despite warnings from Fifa over his eligibility.

The Swiss club are subject to a transfer embargo, but Goncalves and five team-mates won a civil case last week which ruled against Fifa's ban.

"We are all focused on the game," Goncalves told BBC Radio Scotland.

"I will be sad if I can't play, but we are ready and concentrating on the game."

Sion have been at loggerheads with Fifa since the start of the season; the club believing their ban has run its course, the governing body believing it extends until January.

The players signed during the embargo had not featured for the Swiss cup-winners until the weekend's match against Lucerne.

That led to a warning from Fifa, with Uefa also stating that ineligible players must not be fielded in their competitions.

Goncalves, though, is confident that the ongoing saga won't affect their preparation for the tie against Celtic.

"Since the start of the season it has been like this.

"It hasn't changed the preparation for any game this season, or for the game on Thursday in the Europa League.

"We will prepare like we did for the league, and we did well in the league and we are doing well in the preparations for the Europa League."

And he says the players themselves are keen to stay out of the legal process, following their victory in a civil court in Martigny last week.

"I don't know what's really going on - if Fifa can do something or not," Goncalves added.

"The people at the club don't bother us with the information.

"Everyone could play in the league last weekend, so it was not a problem.

"I cannot say what is happening exactly, because I am not sure what Fifa or the club are doing.

"I don't want to have any stories or anything like that, I just want to play."

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