May 27 – Romanian football, already rocked by a cash crisis that led to a number of clubs being docked points and barred from European competition, has been plunged into further turmoil with bans imposed on three coaches and 14 players at second division Gloria Buzau over match-fixing allegations.
Viorel Ion (pictured) and assistants Marian Rosu and Romeo Bunica have been suspended from taking part in soccer-related activities for two years by the national federation and were also fined.
Ion, who had a successful playing career at several Romanian clubs including Bucharest rivals Steaua and Rapid and German side VfL Bochum, said he would appeal. “I will fight to the end and the truth will prevail,” he wrote on Facebook on Thursday, denying any wrongdoing.
The 14 Gloria players were suspended for between two and 12 months and also fined.
Reports of match-fixing and corruption have been rife in Romania for years with low-paid players being targeted. Marius Sumudica, coach of Romanian champions Astra, is already serving a two-month ban from the start of next season for placing bets on domestic and international matches.
The disciplinary hearing was heard this week by the Romanian Football Federations whose integrity manager Costin Negraru said: “We sincerely hope this decision at first instance and the sanctions that have been imposed show our commitment to the integrity of football in our country.
Andreas Krannich, MD Security Services at Sportradar, said: “A first instance disciplinary hearing in Romania against 17 individuals linked with Gloria Buzau FC was completed this week. Our BFDS Reports and expert testimony proved pivotal in securing the sanctions that included a range of bans and fines. We remain committed to supporting any and all cases brought by our partner UEFA or any of their Member Associations.”
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