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December 7, 2022

National Arena to be temporarily closed down

Steaua wants to postpone game against Schalke 04

Following the mass-media row that started at the game that Romania and France played on Bucharest’s National Arena, a row caused by the pitch’s very poor quality, UEFA has sent two inspectors that will evaluate the pitch on which the European Cup games of Otelul Galati, Steaua Bucharest and Rapid Bucharest are supposed to take place.
“At this moment UEFA has closed the stadium. The representatives sent to Bucharest have taken samples from the pitch and we’ll see what happens next,” Otelul Galati President Marius Stan stated.

The two UEFA representatives were present at the National Arena on Thursday, alongside Romanian Football Federation (FRF) President Mircea Sandu, Adrian Oprisan and Viorel Duru. The officials took samples from the pitch and then went to the FRF headquarters where they had talks with Mircea Sandu.

One thing is certain, National Arena will remain closed until a decision is taken. Steaua Bucharest should have met Schalke on the National Arena in a game counting for Europa League’s Group J on September 15.

FC Steaua owner Gigi Becali stated on Thursday during a TV show that his team’s game against Schalke 04 will take place on September 21, not September 15 as initially scheduled, given the condition of National Arena’s pitch, Mediafax informs. The Steaua financier pointed out that Schalke 04 accepted the change and added that until then the pitch will be replaced on the basis of a EUR 360,000 contract signed with a Dutch company.

Gigi Becali promised he will solve the problem: “The problem with the pitch will be solved. (…) The new pitch will most likely be installed on Monday or Tuesday. The pitch will be installed in 36 hours; afterwards one could dance on it. It’s clear that George Copos (Rapid’s President – editor’s note) will cover EUR 100-110,000, he promised me. Let’s see what Marius Stan does. Unless he pays I’ll ask the City Hall not to allow Otelul to play on the National Arena,” Steaua’s owner stated for realitatea.net.

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