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  Thursday, 5 December, 2002, 17:43 GMT
Celtic to contest O'Neill ban
O'Neill is given his marching orders
Celtic boss Martin O'Neill is banished to the stand
Celtic are to contest the two-match touchline ban handed down to manager Martin O'Neill by Uefa following his sending-off during the Uefa Cup win over Celta Vigo.

Celti chief executive Ian McLeod said the club felt the ban was harsh.

"We believe that the punishment does not fit the supposed crime and that the decision of Uefa's disciplinary committee against Martin O'Neill is both draconian and unreasonable," McLeod added.

If the appeal is unsuccessful, the ban will be in place for Celtic's visit to Vigo next Thursday.

O'Neill had been infuriated by a series of decisions by referee Claude Columbo and his assistants during the game.

His complaints eventually led to the referee ordering him to the stand.

Uefa announced on Thursday afternoon that O'Neill's punishment would be a two-game touchline ban.

O'Neill was given until midnight on Sunday to appeal against the ban.

As well as prohibiting him from entering the technical area during the two games, the ban means he is not allowed in the dressing room ahead of the games.

The Celtic boss was banned by Uefa last season after he was sent off during the defeat by Juventus in the Champions League.

On that occasion, O'Neill admitted his punishment was deserved as he had been outside his technical area.

However, he was adamant that he had nothing wrong during the Celta Vigo match and was unclear as to why he had been sent to the stand.

The French match officials were guilty of a number of glaring errors during the game, but O'Neill insisted that at no time had he breached any rules.

He was, however, critical of the officials after the game.


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