League I: Controversial game in Giulesti, referee demoted

The game that Rapid Bucharest played at home against Pandurii Targu Jiu (final score 1-1) ended with a row. The representatives of both teams and even the owners of other League I clubs have lashed out at the performance of the refereeing team led by Mugurel Draganescu. The Central Refereeing Commission (CCA) convened urgently on Tuesday morning and decided to demote the referees. The visitors complained that the referee did not rule a penalty following a fault against Orac and cancelled two valid goals that Stromajer and Vranjkovici scored in the second half. On the other hand, Rapid’s leadership complained that the referee tolerated the visitors’ harsh faults.

“Today we convened an emergency meeting of CCA’s Executive Committee and we took some measures because the referees’ performance was not in line with the rules of the game, with the FIFA and UEFA instructions and with our recommendations. Draga­nescu, Crangasu, Velicu and Iliescu have been demoted to League II. They made serious mistakes, they influenced the result and their refereeing has disappointed lately,” Vasile Avram, head of the CCA, stated yesterday.

At first Rapid owner George Copos asked the Professional Football League to reschedule the game, but LPF President Mitica Dragomir refused. “Rapid and Pandurii proposed us to schedule a replay of tonight’s game but it’s impossible. The statute does not stipulate replaying a game that was influenced by refereeing mistakes,” Dragomir said.

The owners of Steaua and Dinamo, teams that currently rank 5th and 6th respectively in the League I standings (Rapid is 2nd), reacted to this case. “What happened this evening is the biggest theft in the history of Romanian football, in the world. This shouldn’t be taken lightly, Pandurii could be demoted without the two points it lost today,” Steaua financier Gigi Becali told GSP TV.

In his turn, FC Dinamo shareholder Cristian Borcea labeled the refereeing “highway robbery.” “Is it possible anywhere in the world to cancel two goals and a penalty kick? (…) The same linesman canceled two goals. It’s unbelievable. I’m not talking about ill intent, I’m talking about highway robbery,” Borcea stated for DigiSport.

Even the president of FC Timisoara (3rd place in League I standings) Marian Iancu considers that the Rapid vs. Pandurii game “wrote a new page” in the Guinness Book of Records.

In the last leg 13 games U Craiova defeated Unirea Urziceni, score 2-1, and U Cluj defeated Astra Ploiesti, score 1-0.

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