Maribor's Carlos Bocanegra protest thrown out by Uefa

Alejandro Bedoya and Carlos Bocanegra
Alejandro Bedoya and USA team-mate Bocanegra have both joined Rangers

Maribor's protest about the eligibility of Rangers defender Carlos Bocanegra for their Europa League play-off first leg has been rejected by Uefa.

The 32-year-old played in Rangers' 2-1 defeat after being signed shortly before the transfer deadline.

Maribor questioned whether he had the required clearance and paperwork.

But, revealing that European football's governing body had ruled against their opponents, Rangers said: "We always felt there was no case to answer."

It had appeared that, because its control and disciplinary body is not scheduled to meet, a decision would not be reached until after the second leg.

And the Scottish champions' statement added that they were "pleased the matter has been dealt with swiftly".

However, the Slovenian club have three days to appeal the decision.

The complaint was thrown out on the grounds that it had not been made within 24 hours of the match, which took place last Thursday.

Bocanegra signed for the Scottish champions from St Etienne for an undisclosed fee and travelled from France to play in the2-1 first-leg defeat.

However, the United States defender was then forced to sit out Sunday's 3-0 win over Motherwell in the Scottish Premier League because he had not been granted a visa to work in the UK.

Bocanegra said that he had been unconcerned about Maribor's protest and manager Ally McCoist insisted that it had not affected his team's preparations, or that of the player himself.

"We are just focusing our thoughts on tomorrow night's game and we believe Carlos will be ready to play," said McCoist.

"It's not frustrating at all. It's just something that's happened and we believe we have carried out the right procedures."

Rangers insisted all along that they had been given the go-ahead to play Bocanegra in Slovenia by the Scottish Football Association.

"The SFA contacted Uefa on Thursday to say that Carlos could play, so we are quite happy with everything we have done," added the Rangers manager.

"In an ideal situation, we wouldn't have things like this, but we do and it won't affect us, that's for sure."

Meanwhile, fellow USA international Alejandro Bedoya, who signed for Rangers last week from Orebro, has announced via social networking site Twitter that he has also received a visa.

The midfielder is not eligible for the Europa League tie but could make his debut against Aberdeen on Sunday in the SPL.