UEFA denies Maribor protest, clears Bocanegra for Europa League eligibility

UEFA denies Maribor protest, clears Bocanegra for Europa League eligibility

Americans Abroad

UEFA denies Maribor protest, clears Bocanegra for Europa League eligibility

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

U.S. national team captain Carlos Bocanegra was at the heart of a minor controversy regarding his eligibility for Rangers' UEFA Europa League playoff round first leg against Maribor last week, but UEFA has cleared the Scottish club of any wrongdoing involving its newest acquisition.

Bocanegra joined Rangers from St. Etienne and was entered into Rangers' Europa League squad as a last-minute wildcard addition just prior to the roster deadline. Maribor alleged that Bocanegra's involvement in the first leg in Slovenia should not have been allowed considering that he hadn't yet secured his UK work visa and couldn't play domestically last weekend.

Had Rangers been found guilty of the infraction, it would have had to concede a 3-0 defeat in the first leg instead of the actual 2-1 scoreline, which would have made overturning the deficit in Thursday's return leg at Ibrox Stadium a much more difficult task.

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