Midtjylland have issued a statement after FIFA applied an eight-match suspension on Juninho.
The defender missed the first leg tie against Celtic, made his debut in the win over Aalborg then featured in the 2-1 victory over Ange Postecoglou’s side that earned the Danes a third-round qualifier against PSV Eindhoven.
Juninho was given an eight match suspension following a match with his previous club Bahia of Brazil and served two matches of that before his transfer to Denmark.
Now, a week after helping his side to beat Celtic FIFA have ruled that he must serve the six remaining matches of his suspension- missing fixtures in Denmark and also UEFA ties.
Shortly before kick off in Holland last night Midtjylland stated:
The Brazilian Football Federation handed out several quarantines in the spring after a disciplinary case in a match in Brazil, including to Juninho, who was awarded eight matches in the stands. In connection with the switch to FC Midtjylland, FIFA has had to assess whether the quarantine was exclusively valid nationally or world-wide.
FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee met yesterday afternoon, where it was decided to confirm the Brazilian Football Federation’s quarantine of a total of eight playing days, two of which have already been served in Brazil. That information was passed on by UEFA a few hours ago, which is why Juninho has been forced out of tonight’s showdown as well as the next five matches across all tournaments.
– We take note of the decision, but do not understand the timing. We are a few hours from an important match for qualification for the Champions League in the Netherlands and do not have the opportunity to take a replacement, says sports manager Svend Graversen.
FC Midtjylland is investigating the possibility of appealing the ruling.
Had the suspension come to light even a day earlier UEFA could have acted with the standard punishment for fielding an ineligible player being a 3-0 defeat against the club.
With Midtjylland advancing and Celtic suffering the issue becomes more complex with other clubs such as Jablonec involved.
One solution could be that Celtic and Jablonec both advance to the Play Off round of the Europa League with Midtjylland dropping into a Conference League Play Off.
CLICK HERE for match details of Juninho’s appearance against Celtic on the UEFA website.