More Romanian football madness

Remember this post of a couple of weeks ago about the strange case of Rapid Bucharest?

In brief, Rapid were relegated to the second division of Romanian football (Liga 2) at the end of last season after failing to meet the financial conditions placed on first division (Liga 1) teams. Concordia Chiajna took their place.

Then, however, the Romanian Football Federation (RFF; fearing that Liga 1 without Rapid – a well-supported club – would be less valuable for the television companies) decided to ignore their (and UEFAs) own rules and turn a blind eye to the fact that Rapid did not have their paperwork in order, and decided that Rapid and Chiajna would play-off for a place in Liga 1. Rapid won the play-off, 2-1.

Concordia then appealed to the Court of Arbritration in Sport (CAS) claiming that as they had a Liga 1 license and Rapid did not, it was simply not fair that they had not been allowed to take their place in the first division.

Boom! CAS today announced that they had upheld Concordia’s appeal, stating that the play-off ‘should not have been played on the grounds that S.C. F.C. Rapid S.A. did not have a license to participate in the Liga 1 for the season 2013/14.’

Rapid are to be relegated to the second division.

The full CAS decision (which is definitive: in sporting matters it outranks any other court in Europe; there is no appeal process open to Rapid) is here.

What happens now – given that two games of the new Liga 1 season have already been played – is anyone’s guess. We would assume that Rapid’s results (a 2-1 defeat at Vaslui and a 1-1 draw at home to Viitorul Voluntari) will be cancelled and the games replayed by Concordia. Quite what happens tomorrow night (Rapid would have played Bucharest rivals Steaua in the biggest game of the season so far, in front of a packed house at the Arena Nationala) is anyone’s guess.

What a mess, and one which is entirely of the Romanian Football Federation’s own making.

  • Roger


    I was hoping to make my first visit to Guielesti stadium this winter for a liga 1 match preferably against a local rival of some description!

    Oh well, maybe I can watch them play in Iasi instead now!

    Aside from my personal interest what a farce! Like Craig says, two games in and what is going to happen to Steaua game???


    Oh and out of interest, any news from Romania on Chiriches (excuse spelling) potential transfer to Spurs ??? Just it got a mention on Talksport yesterday and Danny Kelly couldn’t pronounce his name and asked if anyone out there new how to say it ……… Well although I can’t spell it and can say it so duly called Talksport to put him right 🙂

    Oh and Becali got a mention, Kelly and Micky Quinn were laughing at the photo of him on a chair with a crown on his head! They called him a gangster and claimed he was trying to block the transfer from his prison cell!
    3 1/2 million listeners on Talksport and the impression they gave of Becali wasn’t a good one!

    • Giuseppe

      Rapid were allowed to play in the first division, something which guarantees a certain income. Rapid made certain signings and certain financial decisions based on the assumption they’ll play in the first division. Now they’ve been kicked out because the FA and League have screwed up, all of those financial decisions no longer make any sense and Rapid will go further into disarray.

      Now there’s no love lost as far as my feelings about Rapid go, however I do hope they sue the pants off the FA and League. They’ve been screwed over and they deserve compensation.

    • Giuseppe

      Well Gigi did block the transfer from his prison cell :))

      Also, Gigi doesn’t deserve a good impression, but to be honest, I’m not sure I would’ve accepted the offer myself. If I was in charge at Steaua, I wouldn’t sell any important player until after I’d get knocked out of the CL, whenever that may be (play-off, group stage or even, who knows, the knock-out stage).

      Besides, if you get into the group stage, the combined revenue (prize money, market share, tickets) is in the tens of millions, without even taking into consideration all the other advantages that playing in the CL offers. It makes no sense to weaken your chance of getting all that for a measly 8 mil (or whatever Spurs was offering), especially when, as a seeded team, you already have good odds to do just that.

      And Chiriches, he hasn’t been with the club that long. All credit to him for training well, playing well and generally being a top class player, but you don’t get to whine about missed transfer opportunities after spending just a year and a half with the club, so I hope he keeps his sh*t together.

      • Roger


        Yes, well maybe IF Spurs sell Bale things may change (offer wise) for Chiriches.

        But yes, I imagine Becali seems the type who knows how to make money and would perhaps see things with the same logic as you. On that note I am fully supporting Steaua and hope they can qualify to group stages and all good so far, I think they can get past Warsaw too!

        Nice to see ploiesti and astra (wherever they play now!) having a chance BUT two very hard ties ……. Swansea are a very good side and I’d be surprised if ploiesti get through.

        A strange start to liga 1 I see …….. Some teams played 1 game some 4 ! I see the return of timisoara and botosani off to a decent start although Steaua will have it sewn up by Xmas no doubt!

        Looking forward to our season in the Prem starting next weekend 🙂

        With a 3 way battle for the title between Chelsea United and City.

        Oh and the likes of Costel, Razvan and the boy at West Brom representing Romania in the Prem league so far!

        • Roger

          The boy at West Brom was Tamas BTW! Hardly a boy either lol

    • Roger

      Steaua have a tough task in 6 days time to qualify in Warsaw, here is hoping they can get through!

      No Chipciu and Chiriches doesn’t help and the sale of Rusescu.

      I hear Tottenham are persisting with the signature of Chiriches and money talks, especially with Becali!

      And we have Swansea taking on Ploiesti on Thursday too ….. Sadly I think Swansea will be far too strong as they are a very good side now.

      Really hope Steaua can get through though, fingers crossed!

      @Craig, nice start for Chelski and looking good under The special one. You’ve not even unleashed Lukaku fully yet! I rate him as the new Drogba.

      • Legia were better than I expected.

        • Giuseppe

          I’m pretty sure Legia were better than Steaua expected. :))

          Besides, some Steaua players are starting to seem too smug, too self-sufficient regarding their skill. The fact they’ve won too many matches without breaking a sweat in the Romanian league hasn’t helped that. A bit like Celtic in Scotland, though not quite as extreme.

          • Roger

            Certainly 2nd half Legia were the better side for the main but Steaua are not out of this tie yet.

            I think they missed Chiriches and Chipciu and with Rusescu no longer available they were perhaps not quite the force they were against Ajax at home, for example.

            Of course it won’t be easy going to Warsaw in 6 days time but a relative early away goal and I feel it will be all to play for.

            I agree in part with what you’re saying Giuseppe and I wonder what the excuse is for the poor quality of the pitch?

            Surely the one surface in Romania that would be exceptional would be the National Arena!

            • Giuseppe

              From what I know the grass doesn’t receive enough sunlight and enough fresh air to be healthy; I understand this is something that happens quite often in big and fully covered stadiums. As far as I know, the workaround is that you buy some sort of device(s) to provide additional artificial light and ventilation. For some reason this hasn’t been bought yet, despite two years of pitch trouble at the National.

              The only other solution is too constantly change/patch the pitch. Apparently the pitch will be replaced yet again after tonight’s match.

              My personal theory, based on nothing other than the fact this is Romania, is that someone’s got a preferential contract for pitch maintenance at the National Arena and is making big bucks out of it. Buying said device(s) would mean healthy grass and much less maintenance work; so less money out of the contract.

        • Roger

          @football fans

          All eyes on the draw tomorrow then!

          I presume Craig is hoping for a certain London team who plays in Blue to be drawn with Steaua 🙂

          Mourinho and Becali (what a combination that would be) 🙂

          Hopefully Steaua will have Chipciu back fit soon, retain Chiriches and find a suitable replacement for Rusescu!

          • Giuseppe

            Chiriches is as good as gone. It’s more important what Steaua will do with the 30 odd million they’ll get out of Chiriches + UCL. Will they strengthen the team, patching up the current “sore” spots in the squad, or will they divert the tidy profit to the pockets of our favourite convict?

            As for Mourinho and Becali – they already know each other pretty well. :))

            • Mr Rearguard

              Did they get past Walsall then?

              • Roger


                Yes mate, 2 early goals for Steaua, game ended in a 2-2 draw and Steaua through on away goals!

              • Giuseppe

                Walsall turned out to be a pretty strong team. Walsall would dream of being as good :))

                • Roger

                  Agreed, Walsall were better than I thought too, without those 2 early goals for Steaua then maybe we’d have been watching the draw tomorrow with no Romanian representatives!

                  • Giuseppe

                    Unfortunately Steaua made the game harder for themselves by taking the step back and defending the lead (though I’m not sure if it was intentional, tactically, or if they did because of “psychological” reasons so to speak).

                  • Giuseppe

                    And Celtic narrowly miss out on making royal fools of themselves.

                    • Roger

                      Yes, almost definitely psychological reasons they ‘sat back’ so to speak and a real weak point is those full backs for Steaua and lack of firepower up top too, but having said that I’m happy they got through!

                      And yes, just watched Celtic myself, they really are a good team at home and on balance deserved to win the game but by 3 clear goals, I’m not so sure, they nearly conceded on a couple of occasions and if they had, they’d have struggled to qualify as away goals ‘rule’ (pardon the pun)

                  • Mr Rearguard

                    What was that cup competion called when teams from the English second tier played their Italian counterparts from their respected second tier? Great competion, shame it had to end. And what happened to the Simond Cup? I recall Reading beating Luton Town 4-1 back in 1988.

                    • Roger

                      Anglo Italian Cup I believe Mr Rearguard but I’m not old enough to have seen a game in that competition!

                      Showing your age Sir 🙂

                    • Yep, that was it. Actually saw a final once, at Wembley (I had a student job as a steward). Brescia beat Notts County. Hagi was playing for Brescia. 1995 it was I think.

            • Roger

              Ha Ha Brilliant 🙂

              Where was that picture from!

              Yes, I hear Chiriches is soon to be playing in our Premier League and pleased to have him, he’s a good player.

              It would be nice to think Steaua will strengthen the areas they are lacking in but no doubt if Romanian players it will be at the loss to other Romanian clubs 🙁 So always a downside in that sense.

              Really hope they draw my team and I’ll be making an unexpected trip to Bucharest other than my other two planned trips this year!

              • Giuseppe

                I don’t remember exactly, but Gigi’s two cousins are player agents (of sorts) and they’ve represented many of the big Romanian players over the last 20+ years. While not exactly reputable, they’re very well connected in European football. I know Mourinho made a bit of a social call a few years ago, visiting the Becali family, and I think that’s when the picture was taken..

                • Roger

                  Ah, that explains it then, great find all the same, made me smile 🙂

        • Roger

          Ha ha ……….. I bet someone is please with that draw 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Mr Rearguard

    You got the title to the story wrong. It should read, ”More Bucharest Football Madness”. Lets face it, all stupid decisions that affects Romania are made only in Bucharest, Fact, end of!!!

    • Parmalat

      It depends.

      We had a government made almost exclusively of Ardeleni up until 2012 and they managed to destroy the country. They would have done it from Cluj too cause Ardeleni are dumb-asses.

      • Parmalat


        Eu sunt de la Goj :mrgreen:

        [that’s Gorj…]