Neil Lennon: "If clubs are breaking the rules then every club should break the rules." PA

Could Celtic join Rovers in group stages after all?

Bhoys hope they may yet progress in the Europa League due to a technicality.

WHILE IRISH SOCCER fans last night celebrated a famous victory for Shamrock Rovers in Serbia, Scottish football reached, arguably, a new low.

Both Celtic and Rangers were dumped out by less-than-illustrious opposition in the Europa League.

The Bhoys went down 3-1 to Swiss side Sion while Rangers could only draw with Slovenian champions Maribor at home.

But wait…. there may yet be hope for Celtic fans this morning as under-pressure manager Neil Lennon reckons his side could earn a reprieve – on a technicality.

Sion have five players in their squad – Feindouno, Mario Mutsch and Gabri, Jose Goncalves and Billy Ketkeophomphone – who are, in the eyes of FIFA, ineligible to play in the competition.

The Swiss club’s European squad, though, was approved by their national FA who, along with the club, have reportedly been warned by UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino about possible sanctions.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport, will rule on the issue next Tuesday.

Lennon told reporters after the whistle last night in Switzerland: “We have sent in letters last week and today, well handed them to the Uefa delegate, so there’ll be a hearing on Tuesday and we’ll know the outcome after that,” he said.

“If you flout the rules you are call into question the integrity of the game. If clubs are breaking the rules then every club should break the rules.”

And the early signs seem good for Celtic, with football journalist Keir Radnedge tweeting this morning from UEFA’s base ahead of the draw at noon: “Hint by Michel Platini, holding court on sun terrace of the Monaco Meridien, is that Sion risk Europa Lge expulsion, letting Celtic back in.”

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