UEFA have this afternoon revealed that Celtic will remain in this year’s Europa League even if FC Sion are reinstated back into the competition.
The Swiss club were thrown out of the tournament following a breach of rules when they fielded an ineligible player during their qualifier with Celtic. Their place in the group stages went to Celtic but the club got onto their solicitors and quickly formed a legal case. They brought it to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and if their appeal is successful then they would have to be reinstated back into the Group stages.
UEFA today confirmed that if FC Sion did win their appeal, then they would be an additional team instead of replacing a team, which would inevitably be the Scottish giants. A tough decision looms for the governing body of European football though as if Sion won their appeal then they would either have to put them into Celtic’s group and make each team play an additional two games or put them straight through to the last 32.
It’s certainly a case that continues to rumble on and on and it definitely isn’t over yet. UEFA released a statement today confirming the options.
“The first option assumes the cancellation of all previous games to be played within a group of five, following the rules of the former Uefa Cup group stage with teams playing against each other either at home or away.
“These matches could then be played between November 24 and December 22.
“The second option allows for the integration of FC Sion into Group I as an additional fifth team, but that the results and points of the games already played in the group remain.
“The other options… assume that FC Sion could be integrated directly into the round of 32, following a qualifying play-off round still to be defined.”
“Of course all these scenarios have one thing in common, and that is a strong impact on the other clubs in the competition.
“UEFA therefore underlines the fact that the other clubs may accept these possibilities only after a decision is made by the Court Arbitration for Sport (CAS), as CAS is the only authority they have all accepted as competent to rule on sporting matters in the UEFA Europa League.”