LIVERPOOL – Dorin Goian has been cleared to play in Rangers' Champions League qualifier against Malmo tonight after UEFA overturned its initial ruling.
The Romania defender completed a deal to move from Palermo to Rangers before the first leg but missed the 1-0 defeat at Ibrox as his work permit had not been approved.
UEFA initially ruled he could not play in Sweden either but Rangers have eventually succeeded with an appeal.
Rangers argued that Goian had been registered properly with UEFA ahead of the deadline for the third qualifying round, with the work permit issue strictly an employment matter rather than a football issue.
The centre-back made his debut in a 2-0 Clydesdale Bank Premier League victory over St Johnstone on Saturday after receiving clearance from the UK Border Agency.
The Scottish Football Association backed the club's case and UEFA have relented, although later than Rangers were hoping.
Goian's inclusion is a major boost for manager Ally McCoist, who lost centre-back David Weir to a hamstring injury during the first leg. The veteran did not travel to Sweden.
Goian, 30, is now expected to line up alongside Madjid Bougherra in central defence in what could be the Algerian's final game for the club amid interest from Qatari club Lekhwiya.