Uefa reject Maribor complaint
Uefa have confirmed they have rejected Maribor's protest over Rangers defender Carlos Bocanegra.
Last Updated: 24/08/11 7:30pm
Bocanegra's Europa League appearance ruled legitimate
Uefa have confirmed they have rejected Maribor's protest over Rangers defender Carlos Bocanegra's eligibility for the Europa League play-offs.
The United States captain made his debut in last Thursday's first-leg in Slovenia, having signed from St Etienne the previous day and been granted international clearance.
However, the defender was unable to feature in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League game against Motherwell at the weekend because he did not obtain a visa to work in the UK until Monday.
Maribor questioned whether Bocanegra was eligible to play in last week's match, which they won 2-1, but their complaint has been dismissed by Uefa, with the return leg at Ibrox on Thursday.
A statement on the governing body's official website said: "The protest lodged by NK Maribor against the result of their UEFA Europa League play-off home game against Rangers FC has been rejected and the 2-1 scoreline has been upheld.
"The chairman of the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body as judge sitting alone did not deal with the merits of the protest lodged by NK Maribor against the result of their UEFA Europa League play-off first leg against Rangers FC and has upheld the result of the match. Therefore the protest was rejected.
"The Slovenian club recorded a 2-1 win against their Scottish visitors on August 18, as under the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations a club is entitled to lodge a protest within 24 hours of the match in question and Maribor missed this deadline.
"The UEFA ruling is open to appeal within three days of the notification of the decision."
And Rangers revealed their satisfaction at the swift decision with a statement on their own official website.
It read: "Rangers Football Club is delighted to confirm that UEFA has rejected the protest filed by NK Maribor with regards to the ineligibility of Carlos Bocanegra.
"As already indicated, the Scottish Football Association confirmed Carlos was deemed eligible to play at a domestic level within the UEFA deadline in accordance with the requirements of the UEFA Regulations.
"The club is pleased the matter has been dealt with swiftly as we always felt there was no case to answer and now our sole focus is on tomorrow's Europa League qualifier at Ibrox Stadium."