In a press conference today, Legia major shareholder, Dariusz Mioduski, has been scathing about Celtic, who benefited from Legia’s mistake last week. Perhaps his most important comment was, “The football family of Legia are all suffering now. Their dreams are shattered, it’s against football values”.
There can be no doubt that Legia are suffering and that their punishment was in no way proportional to their mistake. Some of this hurt is inevitably going to find its way to Celtic, who Legia apparently asked to withdraw from the tournament before the Disciplinary Committee sat. Celtic, Legia inform us, declined to respond. My understanding is that the rules do not allow for input from the losing team when a suspended player has been involved – as they do when an ineligible player is involved.
Former Juventus-great and current chief of the Polish FA Zibi Boniek had earlier said, “Everyone thoroughly looked into this matter, but Michel Platini and Giorgio Marchetti [from Uefa]said one thing, ‘Zibi, there is no backdoor. Nothing. Regulations do not provide for any other penalty. We are very sorry’.”
If there was a possibility Celtic could choose to forgo their place in favour of Legia, Celtic would be presented with a moral dilemma, but I don’t think the club’s actions would be any different. Their reluctance to ‘pick up the phone’ to Legia suggest as much.
One area where Mioduski’s information differs from Celtic’s is where he states “No-one at UEFA in Nyon was even considering a 3-0 forfeit Celtic win on the morning of the ruling.” I understand Celtic were told the exact opposite, that a forfeit was the only outcome possible, corroborating what Platini and Marchetti told Boniek.
Our very best wishes to Fraser Forster, who yesterday became a Southampton player. Southampton have an enormous rebuilding exercise ahead after selling the majority of their first team players this summer. They now have a good keeper, who I expect will be busy in the opening months of the season.
After my article yesterday on Fraser Forster’s dedication to his work, a CQN’er sent me this nugget:
“My brother used to go to the dancing with Jinky. He would go to Jinky’s to collect him and Jimmy would be all suited up, apart from wearing his sand shoes, as he would be practicing his dribbling while waiting to be picked up”.
There are no shortcuts to brilliance.[calameo code=000390171ae033f39a0c4 lang=en page=120 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]