EUROPEAN football bosses have shot down claims FC Midtjylland fielded an ineligible player in both their Champions League qualifiers against Celtic.

Reports emerged that Brazilian defender Juninho had carried over an eight-game worldwide suspension from his time with Palmeiras.

There was speculation the Danes could face the boot from the competition and open the door to a reprise for Ange Postecoglou’s side who went out on a 3-2 aggregate after losing 2-1 after extra-time last week.

However, the Hoops’ conquerors have been reassured by UEFA that they were only made aware of the suspension on Monday – five days after the second leg in Herring.

And that means Midtjylland are off the hook as they had no way of knowing he was ineligible until that date. As it stands, it looks as though Danes are heading for the exit after losing 3-0 to PSV Eindhoven in the first leg in the Netherlands on Tuesday night, as CQN reported.

A UEFA spokesperson said: “In accordance with Article 66 of the Fifa Disciplinary Code (2019 edition), any decision related to the extension of sanctions to have worldwide effect falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of the competent Fifa disciplinary bodies.

“We can confirm that Uefa was made aware by Fifa on 2 August of its decision taken on the same day regarding this case, i.e. after the Uefa Champions League second qualifying round tie between FC Midtjylland and Celtic FC.”

And that came after Midtjylland’s sporting director Svend Graversen had dismissed the claims. In a report in Glasgow Live, he said: “Of course, he was eligible. It has been confirmed that it will apply from now on and for the next six matches.

“We have known about it. This is not a surprise to us.

“We are sorry about the outcome and that it comes at this time. We have to look into that and see if we can appeal this decision.”

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Jablonec v Celtic this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.


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