After the disastrous inaugural game that took place in September, back when the pitch practically fell apart after the first half of the Romania vs. France game, the National Arena, the country’s most modern stadium, continues to have problems and to spark disputes.
Romanian Football Federation (FRF) President Mircea Sandu announced on Tuesday that the League I teams will no longer be able to use the stadium after Romania’s friendly against Uruguay scheduled in February 2012, the measure being taken at UEFA’s request, the European body wanting to protect the pitch in view of the Europa League final that Bucharest will host next year.
On Wednesday however, UEFA denied the allegation. “What Mircea Sandu said is strange. It was probably a misunderstanding. UEFA did not ask FRF to “close” the National Arena after the Romania vs. Uruguay friendly in February,” UEFA representative Thomas Giordano stated for gsp.ro. “The arena will be closed ten days before the Europa League final scheduled on May 9. So there will be no games there in May 2012,” he pointed out.
In his turn, FC Steaua financier Gigi Becali stated on Wednesday that his team will continue to play on the National Arena. “Mircea Sandu should know that this pitch will be replaced and it’s better to use it for as long as possible so that the City Hall will make as much money as possible since it paid for it. Steaua will play there until the end of season,” Becali said.
The company handling pitch maintenance operations at the National Arena noticed advanced wear and tear and recommended that the new stadium should not host any more games other than those already scheduled, a FRF communiqué informed.