Harsh sentences to jail for eight Romanian football heavyweights sentenced

Cristi Borcea and Ioan Becali were each sentenced to 6 years and 4 months in jail; Victor Becali to 4 years and 8 months; George Copos to 3 years and 8 months; MM Stoica to 3 years and 6 months; Jean Padureanu to 3 years and 4 months; Gheorghe Popescu to 3 years and 1 month and Gigi Netoiu to 3 years and 4 months. The eight have thus been sentenced to a total of 34 years and eight months behind bars.


Former FC Dinamo shareholder Cristian Borcea and former manager Ioan Becali received the harshest sentences, each of them being sentenced to 6 years and 4 months in jail, executory sentence, in the case concerning football players’ transfers. The prosecutor had requested a sentence of 7 years in jail for each of the two. In the same case, manager Victor Becali was sentenced to 4 years and 8 months in jail, executory sentence. National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors had asked the judge to sentence Victor Becali to 7 years in jail.

Former FC Rapid financier George Copos received a more “lenient” sentence of 3 years and 8 months in jail, after the prosecutor had asked for a sentence of one to five years in jail for him. FC Steaua general manager Mihai Stoica received a sentence of 3 years and 6 months in jail. According to Realitatea TV, the businessman was allegedly in Turkey when the ruling was made. The anticorruption prosecutor had concluded in Stoica’s case that his crimes had been written off in line with the new Penal Code that came into force on February 1.

Former FC Gloria Bistrita president Jean Padureanu was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months, executory sentence. The anticorruption prosecutor had asked for a sentence of 3 years in jail for Padureanu. The former president of FC Gloria Bistrita was hospitalized on Sunday at Bucharest’s Elias Hospital, having severe heart problems.

Former football player Gheorghe Popescu received a sentence of 3 years and 1 month in jail. Popescu is currently running for the presidency of the Romanian Football Federation (FRF). Had Popescu received a sentence of 3 years the latter would have been suspended. In a phone call made during the “Fotbal Club” TV show, lawyer Catalin Ciubota explained the implications of this decision. ‘Article 37 very clearly stipulates that he cannot run for office in any form, neither from a physical point of view, since he will be jailed, nor from a juridical point of view, since the FRF statute does not allow that,” Ciubota said, being quoted by digisport.ro. In this context, the candidates still left in the race for the leadership of FRF are the following: Vasile Avram, Gheorghe Chivorchian, Razvan Burleanu, Marcel Puscas and Sorin Raducanu. The elections are scheduled today.

Former FC Dinamo and U Craiova shareholder Gigi Netoiu was sentenced in the same case to 3 years and 4 months in jail, executory sentence. The Bucharest Court had acquitted the eight defendants on April 3, 2012. The decision was attacked by DNA prosecutors at the Bucharest Appeals Court. The latter consequently issued sentences that ranged from 4 to 8 years in jail on November 12, 2012. That decision was then attack at the Supreme Court, which decided to send the case back for retrial at the Bucharest Appeals Court.

Anticorruption prosecutors sued Gheorghe Copos, Ioan Becali, Victor Becali, Mihai Stoica, Jean Padureanu, Gheorghe Popescu, Gheorghe Netoiu and Cristian Borcea on October 2, 2008, charging them with illegal transactions done when transferring football players to foreign clubs and with causing total damages of approximately USD 1.5 M to the state and of over USD 10 M to four football clubs. In their case the DNA prosecutors presented 12 transfers of Romanian players from the Dinamo Bucharest, Rapid Bucharest, Gloria Bistrita and Otelul Galati clubs to foreign clubs, transfers that took place from 1999 to 2005.



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