Dorinel Munteanu summoned for Penescu case hearings

Otelul Galati head coach Dorinel Munteanu (photo), former head coach of FC Arges, was heard yesterday by the National Anti-corruption Office (DNA) prosecutors in connection to the corruption row in which FC Arges financier Cornel Penescu is involved.

“I gave a statement concerning the Penescu case, it was only a hearing. (…) Since I was Penescu’s employee I expected to be summoned at some point,” Munteanu stated while leaving the DNA Pitesti headquarters after one hour and a half.

The corruption row started on April 13, 2009, when Cornel Penescu and Gheorghe Constantin, former president of the Central Commission for Referees, were detained. They were charged with corruption on June 25, 2009, alongside Florin Prunea, the Romanian Football Federation’s international affairs director, and referees Cristian Lucian Dan and Sorin Caia.

Penescu and Liviu Facaleata, former director of PIC Company, were placed under 29-day preventive arrest on May 11, 2010. The anti-corruption prosecutors claim Penescu offered a USD 21,000 bribe to referee Ionica Serea, in order for the latter to be biased towards FC Arges in a game against Steaua Bucharest. Marius Martis, another referee placed under arrest, was allegedly the arrangement’s middleman, with the money being delivered by Liviu Facaleata, Cornel Penescu’s right-hand man.

Cornel Penescu has been released on bail after the Pitesti Court of Appeal rejected last Saturday the appeal filed by the prosecutors against the Arges Court’s decision to accept the defendant’s bail request.

The latest scandal involving Munteanu took place several days ago when the head coach was accused of sending Adrian Mititelu (Universitatea Craiova owner) several SMS messages ahead of the Craiova vs. Otelul game (3-0) that counted for the last leg of this season. Munteanu allegedly assured U. Craiova’s owner that his team won’t be relegated. On March 17, 2007, Steaua defeated FC Arges at home, score 2-0. Back then FC Arges was coached by Munteanu. Penescu accused Dorinel of fixing the game.

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