Celtic were last night reinstated in the Europa League after their play-off conquerors Sion were punished for fielding ineligible players against the Hoops.
Providing Sion do not succeed with an appeal, Neil Lennon’s men will take the Swiss side’s place in Group I, which includes Atletico Madrid, Udinese – knocked out of the Champions League by Arsenal – and Rennes. Celtic said in a statement that they were “pleased by this decision”, and thanked the Scottish Football Association for its support.
Sion signed five players with the club still under a transfer ban imposed by FIFA after breaching rules over the signing of Egypt goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary three years ago, although a Swiss court had ruled in their favour.
One of those players, Pascal Feindouno, scored two goals in the 3-1 second leg win over Celtic in Switzerland. Sion have two rights of appeal, the second with the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the Swiss club have threatened to take the case to a civil court.