May 14, 2020 / 10:28 AM / 22 days ago

Soccer-Romanian second tier leaders say they may appeal "discriminatory" ruling

BUCHAREST, May 14 (Reuters) - Romanian second division leaders UTA Arad said on Thursday they might appeal a “totally discriminatory decision” by the national football federation for completing the second division season with playoffs between the top six teams with their points halved.

The Romanian leagues have been on hold since mid-March as part of measures to halt the spread of the coronavirus with UTA leading the standings with 50 points from 23 matches, followed by CS Mioveni and Turris-Oltul with 39 points.

But the FRF ruling means that the second division championship will be resumed with UTA’s lead reduced to five points as they would start with 25 points while Mioveni and Turris-Oltul would have 20 points each at the re-start.

The FRF said they took the decision after all teams in the second tier voted three different options.

UTA, based in the western town of Arad, they would respect the vote and continue their participation in the league but accused the FRF of not “offering any viable scenario without halving points”.

“We reserve the right to appeal the decision of the (FRF)Executive Committee to the competent bodies,” UTA, based in the western town of Arad, said in a statement, adding it was “a discriminatory decision only against thei club”.

“We are extremely disappointed but we have to move on,” said UTA coach Laszlo Balint. “This is a totally discriminatory decision, which favours five teams and totally disadvantages one - UTA.”

FRF President Razvan Burleanu defended the ruling, saying it was the best decision and it was supported by an overwhelming majority (15 out of the 19 teams in the division voted in favour of it).

“This decision is a compromise that all of us must accept,” Burleanu said, adding that the teams will play five games each with the top three having an advantage of hosting three matches.

Burleanu expects the second division to resume on July 4 and finish on August 5.

Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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