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   Tuesday, 10 December, 2002, 17:19 GMT
Celtic handed O'Neill boost
O'Neill is given his marching orders
Celtic boss Martin O'Neill is banished to the stand
Celtic manager Martin O'Neill will be allowed in the dressing room and the technical area for Thursday's vital Uefa Cup third round second leg match against Celta Vigo.

Uefa have decided to hear O'Neill's appeal against the two-match ban he was handed after being sent to the stand during the first leg against the Spanish side.

O'Neill's case will not be heard until after Thursday's game, meaning the ban is suspended until such time as the appeal can be heard.

A Uefa spokesman said on Tuesday: "The appeal over Martin O'Neill will be held at the start of next year.

"O'Neill will now be allowed to sit on the bench for the Uefa Cup tie at Celta Vigo on Thursday."

The news is a massive boost for the Scottish champions for whom O'Neill is a hugely important motivating figure.

O'Neill had been incensed by the performance of the French match officials during the game two weeks ago, which Celtic won 1-0.

But although he was critical of the referee Claude Columbo, he insisted that he had done nothing to merit being sent to the stand.

Celtic decided last week that they would appeal against the two-match ban imposed by Uefa.

They described the punishment as "draconian and unreasonable".

They have at least achieved their short-term goal of having the talismanic presence of O'Neill around the team for Thursday's crucial match.


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10 Dec 02 | Uefa Cup
05 Dec 02 | Uefa Cup
28 Nov 02 | Uefa Cup
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