CELTIC will not benefit from a Champions League reprieve despite the eight-match suspension of FC Midtjylland defender Juninho confirmed by FIFA.
Ange Postecoglou’s men were knocked out in the second qualifying round by Midtjylland after a 3-2 aggregate loss, but reports suggest they could be given a lifeline after Juninho was forced to forgo the his new team lost 3-0 in the third qualifying round to PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday evening.
The defender had served just two games of an eight-game suspension for his part in a mass brawl in a game with his loan club Bahia before moving to Denmark, and he was taken out of the game in the Netherlands at the last minute after FIFA decided his punishment was valid worldwide.
But UEFA has now confirmed that his ban will run from August 2, which means he has ultimately been deemed eligible to face Celtic.
A UEFA statement read: “Regarding your request, we would first like to inform you that, in accordance with Article 66 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (2019 edition), any decision relating to the extension sanctions to have worldwide effect fall within the exclusive competence of the competent disciplinary bodies of FIFA.
“We can confirm that UEFA was informed by Fifa on August 2 of its decision taken on the same day in this matter, i.e. after the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round match between FC Midtjylland and Celtic FC. ”
Meanwhile, Celtic manager Postecoglou – who are currently preparing their squad for tonight’s Europa League qualifier against FK Jablonec in the Czech Republic – has pledged to further strengthen his squad following the capture of Joe Hart and James McCarthy this week.
“I can definitely see more signings coming in,” Postecoglou said. “But the timing, and how they are, remains to be worked out. Until we actually get them I can’t really comment.
“There has already been a lot of speculation about the players and sometimes there have been delays totally out of our control. So I don’t want to commit to deadlines or to the players who might come in.
“But we will definitely have more in the next two weeks.”