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Tonight could be a waste of time
Published : 18 Aug 2011 06:34:06Rss feed
If Sion put out players who UEFA and FIFA consider to be inelligible, tonight could be a wasted effort Neil Lennon is worried that if UEFA do not clear up the confusion over who can and cannot play for Sion tonight in the Europa League play-off tie the game will turn into a non-event. The Swiss club arrived in Glasgow for tonight night's first-leg clash at Parkhead with five players in their squad who are, in the eyes of FIFA, ineligible to play. A the weekend Sion allegedly broke a registration embargo installed by the world football governing body when Pascal Feindouno, Mario Mutsch and Gabri all lined up against Lucerne, after a Swiss court ruled in their favour. Former Hearts defender Jose Goncalves and Billy Ketkeophomphone are also in Sion's European squad approved by the Swiss FA who, along with the club, have reportedly been warned by UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino about possible sanctions. However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, who will rule on the issue, will not pass their verdict until after the second leg next Thursday. Lennon, though, would like it all sorted out before the first leg. He said: "From my point of view, if a team plays ineligible players, they should be punished accordingly within the rules of the governing body. The rules should be there to adhere to. But we are all still in the dark as to the outcome of this. It would be nice if there was some clarification on it before the game. I won't be seeking it, but I think for all parties concerned it would be best if we had some sort of answers. But I am not making a major issue of it. Basically I am concentrating on my own team and preparing as best as I can.'' Celtic will be without Glenn Loovens, Emilio Izaguirre, Beram Kayal and Gary Hooper through injury and, although defender Thomas Rogne has recovered from his calf problem, he is unlikely to feature. He said: "Thomas Rogne trained (on Tuesday) but that's his first session for a number of weeks. It's great to have him back in the squad but I would be pretty hard pushed to put him in the squad.'' Sion coach Laurent Roussey has washed his hands of the bizarre situation with the ruling bodies which could see the Swiss club ultimately forfeit the tie. The Frenchman said: "I am the coach, I am here to play the game. I don't have any explanations. It is a matter for my boss. It is the same in Switzerland, everyone talks about it but we try not to think about it. We are here to play the game. If we win the game I've done my job then what happens after that has nothing to do with me. I am taking the matter very seriously but I don't have any influence on the matter, there is no point in worrying about it. I am there to get the best result I can, this is my job and it is for the directors of the club to solve the problem, if there is a problem."