Legia Warsaw chairman does not want Celtic rematch

LEGIA Warsaw chairman Dariusz Mioduski does not want his team and Celtic to meet again in European competition this season.
Celtic and Legia could meet in the Europa League group stage. Picture: Ian GeorgesonCeltic and Legia could meet in the Europa League group stage. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Celtic and Legia could meet in the Europa League group stage. Picture: Ian Georgeson

The Polish champions defeated Celtic home and away in their Champions League qualifier, but Legia were eliminated after fielding an ineligible player in the second leg.

The mistake meant they suffered an automatic 3-0 defeat from the tie at Murrayfield, which put them out of the competition on away goals.

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On Thursday evening Legia face Aktobe in the second leg of the Europa League play-off round.

The Polish side hold a 1-0 lead from a first leg away trip to the Kazakhstan club, and are heavy favourites to advance to the group stages where they could meet Celtic once more.

Midouski has conceded that a potential rematch would be a good football story, though he has fears over potential safety issues.

He said: “If we’re good enough and get through, then a lot people think it would be great to face Celtic in the group phase.

“From purely a sports standpoint, it would be a great story.

“On the other hand, there has been a lot of bad emotion which I think is on both sides with fans.

“I would be a little bit concerned that with a match like that we could not allow these emotions to come out in a way in which both clubs would be sorry.

“From a sports standpoint I would love to have that match. But from a rational thinking [standpoint], and what would be the in the best interests of both clubs, I’m not sure that would be the best thing.”

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Further fuelling the resentment between the two clubs was a tweet sent out by the Legia Warsaw official Twitter account in the aftermath of Celtic’s loss to Maribor which simply read “football won”.

Mioduski then had his own say when interviewed by BBC Scotland about Celtic’s exit.

He said: “The team that didn’t deserve to be there because they didn’t win on the pitch finally will not be there.

“Not surprisingly, the general feeling - I don’t think only in my head but generally in Poland - is that life writes its own story and the story here was about a little bit of justice on the field.

“Even though I feel for the Celtic fans, who had a second chance, I think there is a little bit of truth to the fact that justice was served.

“I expected Celtic to go through. I thought they would get their house in order and they would be able to get through against Maribor so it was a surprise.”

The draw for the group stages will take place in Monaco on Friday. Celtic are seeded in pot two.