CELTIC will play in the new European Conference League early in 2022 after failing to reach the next stage of the Europa League.

Ange Postecoglou saw his team win three and lose three of their six Group G outings and even last night’s thrilling 3-2 victory over Real Betis couldn’t prevent the Hoops moving into the new third-tier competition.

The Parkhead side could be drawn against one of eight opponents in Monday’s ballot which is scheduled to begin at 1pm in Nyon, Switzerland. They are: Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Partizan Belgrade, Bodo-Glimt, Randers, Slavia Prague, PAOK, Qarabag and the winners from the Covid-delayed tie between Spurs and Vitesse.

The first play-off ties are due for February 17 with the return seven days later. Winners will advance to the round of 16.

Celtic supporters will be interested to note the Final is due for the National Arena in Tirana, Albania, on the iconic date of May 25.

It was on that date, of course, that Jock Stein’s great side became the first UK club to conquer Europe with their historic 2-1 triumph over Inter Milan in Lisbon.

Europa Conference League dates:

Knock-out round play-offs – February 17 and 24

Round of 16 – March 10 and 17

Quarter-finals – April 7 and 14

Semi-finals – April 28 and May 5

Final – May 25 (Tirana]


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