Neil Lennon, the Celtic manager, had indicated earlier yesterday that he believed a one-match ban would suffice for the sending-off of his captain after he had aimed a kick at Neymar in the 1-0 loss at Parkhead earlier this month. If the appeal fails, the Scotland midfielder will miss both matches against Ajax and the visit of AC Milan. "The club finds this to be excessive and they will be appealing against the decision," said Celtic in a statement.
Lennon's side are bottom of the group having lost their opening two matches, while Ajax have one point going into their trip to Glasgow on Tuesday.
The appeal procedure means that Celtic must ask UEFA for a written judgment and then appeal within five days. Any appeal will be heard by a committee at a yet-to-be-decided date, but guaranteed to be before matchday four - the away trip to Ajax.
The severity of the sentence was a blow to Celtic on a day when Lennon was upbeat about the fitness of his squad in the wake of the international break. The biggest concern had been over Mikael Lustig, the Swedish full-back, but the Celtic manager said: "He will be a doubt for Saturday [away to Hibernian] but we're hoping he'll be okay for Ajax next week. His hip locked but it's been an ongoing problem. He's probably going to need surgery on it."
The fitness of Lustig is important for Celtic, given that Adam Matthews, another candidate for the right-back position, could be out until the new year after shoulder surgery.
Lennon, however, will welcome back James Forrest, the winger who has been suffering from a virus, and Biram Kayal, the Israeli midfielder expected to deputise for Brown in the match against Ajax. Two other midfielders - Nir Biton of Israel and Joe Ledley of Wales - are also back in training, although Lennon was downbeat about Ledley's chances of playing against Ajax. "It's a bit of a gamble and I don't fancy having two lefties in midfield. That would create an imbalance," said the Celtic manager, who will pick Charlie Mulgrew in a central role.
"Kayal has been training well and we'll have a look at Biton. They come into contention for Saturday and for next week. I might have to play Scott at Easter Road because we're short of numbers. Ideally I'd have been able to leave him out and play someone I'd be calling upon next week."
The much-travelled Efe Ambrose, the Nigerian defender, will arrive back in Glasgow today after helping his national side beat Ethiopia 2-1 in the first leg of a World Cup play-off. "Efe is just a rubber man. He bounces back so easily from his trips away it's incredible. He's got this elasticity in his body. He's a naturally talented athlete. His powers of recovery are very, very quick," said Lennon.
Derk Boerrigter, the Dutch winger, remains out for another 10 days with ankle bruising but Lennon is pleased Forrest, another wide man, is back in training: "The break has done the world of good in terms of getting some quality work done. Having him back is a boost for everybody."