FC Arges demoted from League I, Cornel Penescu becomes persona non-grata
The Disciplinary Commission of the Professional Football League (LPF) has decided on Wednesday 8 July 2009 to
FC Arges Pitesti to League II and to declare Cornel Penescu, the club's financier, persona non-grata in the Romanian world of football. Cornel Penescu had been set to trial for acts of corruption in football. Cornel Penescu, the club's financier, Daniel Minca, the club's President, and Gheorghita Pieca, the manager of PIC and FC Arges, have been fined RON 300.000 and have been declared persona non-grata. FC Arges finished the season on the 11th place. Because FC Arges was
relegate, Gaz metan Medias will return to League I despite finishing the season on the 15th place, a place that results in relegate to League II.
Mircea Sandu: "There was enough evidence to demote FC Arges"
Mircea Sandu, the President of the Romanian Football Federation, has stated that the decision to demote FC Arges was based on sufficient evidence. "If the Commission adopted a drastic solution then that means it has sufficient evidence. FC Arges was demoted; they can appeal against the decision and that's that. The signal given to the clubs is clear: put an end to these practices because it is high time to put an end to these problems. There are some irresponsible club owners that are involved in these things
", Mircea Sandu stated.
Florin Prunea, the international relations director of the Romanian Football Federation, Federal observer Marcel Lica, central referees Sorin Corpodean, Marcel Savaniu, Aurelian Bogaciu, Cristian Lucian Dan and Sorin Caia; Gheorghita Pieca, the administrator of FC Arges, Cristian Minca, the former club president, and Daniela Carstina, director of PIC, have also been charged with corruption and are currently under investigation.
Cornel Penescu, majority stakeholder within PIC and FC Arges, has been charged with three counts of bribery, with buying influence and with initiating and forming an organized crime group. Cristian Minca, the former president of FC Arges, has been charged with complicity to buying influence and with initiating and forming an organized crime group. Daniela Carstina, the director of PIC, is charged with aiding and abetting. Florin Prunea is also charged with aiding and abetting.
According to the charges, from 2006 to April 2009 the defenders Cornel Penescu, Facaleata Liviu Ilie, Minca Cristian, Pieca Gheorghita and Gheorghe Constantin initiated and formed an organized crime group that committed several serious corruption offences through which it sought to obtain financial benefits.
Disciplinary commission had no right to declare him persona non-grata
According to the regulations, the LPF's Disciplinary Commission had no right to declare the FC Arges officials persona non-grata, with that prerogative belonging exclusively to the FRF's Executive Committee, Federal sources stated. "Although the Disciplinary Regulations state that an official can be declared persona non-grata (Article 60, Paragraph 2 - editor's note), this prerogative belongs exclusively to the FRF's Executive Committee. The Disciplinary Commission could not suspend them and ban them from entering any stadium for two years; the Executive Committee should have debated whether to declare them persona non-grata
", the aforementioned sources stated.
Coach and players PIN hopes on LPF change of heart
Ionut Badea, the head coach of FC Arges, has stated on Wednesday that both he and the players are waiting for the LPF to change its decision on demoting the team to League II.
"I am not able to comment a decision taken by a Commission, but I can state that I and the players dislike this decision. We will wait for five more days in the hope that the decision will be changed
", the head coach of FC Arges stated. FC Arges is currently in a training camp in Austria. Ionut Badea has expressed his desire to continue coaching FC Arges even if the club is demoted. "If the decision is not changed then the club leadership has assured us that it will continue to uphold the same goals and strategy
", Badea pointed out.