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Soccer-Romania's Craiova avoid sanctions over COVID-19 rules violations

Reuters logo Reuters 6/24/2020

BUCHAREST, June 24 (Reuters) - Romania's Universitatea Craiova will not face any punishment after players and fans failed to observe social distancing during late-night pyrotechnics celebrations on Tuesday, the country's professional league (LPF) said on Wednesday.

TV images showed around 100 Universitatea supporters surrounding the team bus after Tuesday's 2-1 home win over FC Botosani, setting off smoke bombs and fireworks before giving high fives and hugging players who got off the vehicle.

However, LPF general secretary Justin Stefan said the governing body which runs the top-flight would not take any action against the club because the players had not been inside the ground where the match took place.

"Craiova does not risk anything at the moment," Stefan said. "The club cannot be sanctioned according to the sanitary protocol if the players and fans were not inside the stadium."

The Romanian league resumed on June 13 with matches behind closed doors, ending a three-month break due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Romania’s football federation (FRF) suspended all soccer in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has so far killed more than 1,500 people in the Black Sea state, with nearly 25,000 confirmed infections.

The game between Universitatea and FC Botosani was due to be played on June 12 but was postponed after the visiting side's doctor tested positive for COVID-19.

Craiova's victory on Tuesday, the team's second straight win since ex-Lazio defender Cristiano Bergodi was appointed coach, kept alive their chances of claiming a fifth league title.

The Students, who reached the UEFA Cup semi-finals and the European Cup quarter-finals in the 1980s, are second in the standings with 32 points, four behind reigning champions CFR Cluj. The two teams meet in a crunch clash on Sunday. (Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Ken Ferris)


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