Everything pales before the Steaua-Rapid match in the second leg of the UEFA Cup quarterfinals in today’s newspapers, with previews about fan preparations, high security measures and the implications of the match for Romanian football in general.

Still, the main dailies find front page rooms for other issues as well, from rising pressure on the Finance minister to ex-House speaker Adrian Nastase’s judicial gambling to the funds received by the governing alliance of Liberals and Democrats in 2005.

"The decisive day for Romanian football has come", says Evenimentul Zilei reporting on preparations for the Steaua-Rapid match which will decide tonight what Romanian team will advance in the UEFA Cup semifinals.

The newspaper notes that the 1-1 result in the first leg of the confrontation a week ago turns the balance a bit in favor of Steaua, which will win if they keep the opening 0-0, a score so dear for their coach Cosmin Olaroiu. And Rapid must score in order to win – a thing it did in all 13 matches played so far in this UEFA Cup season.

Adevarul points out that while Steaua is better placed for the match, Rapid seems in a better form for the match due to be broadcast – a first in Romanian television – on a news channel starting 8.30 p.m. The confrontation on the Lia Manoliu stadium, the biggest in Bucharest, lures 40,000 to 50,000 spectators.

The match will also be broadcast by Internet company netBridge and its sponsor Connex-Vodafone on a special site, www.meciulmileniului.ro (the match of the millennium).

Jurnalul National goes even more dramatic and shows that the qualification in the UEFA Cup semifinals will be the task of their lives for all the players on the football field.

And tabloid Averea draws an apocalyptic scene saying the risks of violence between the supporters of the two teams has turned the Romanian capital into a war zone with tens of thousands of police out on the streets, placing Romania "in the third world of sports".

Football apart, Evenimentul Zilei attacks Finance minister Sebastian Vladescu, revealing that his firm had sold a software to several Romanian hospitals, including the hospital of the Interior Ministry, when a rivaling company claims the respective program was stolen from it.

That company has tried to solve its issue at the Romanian Copyright Office (ORDA), but the head of the institution refused to provide assistance because the legislation of the time would not allow it.

The close links between business and politics also come to light with revelations in Gandul that the "group of interests" formed around businessman Dinu Patriciu of the Rompetrol company, a group which was attacked repeatedly by President Traian Basescu over the last several months, was the main donor for the governing D.A. Alliance of Liberals and Democrats.

While Patriciu – who’s been investigated for a series of economic crimes - is a reputed Liberal, Basescu was the leader of the Democratic Party and led the D.A. Alliance in the 2004 elections.

Numerous branches of the Rompetrol group contributed 360,000 RON to the Alliance last year, with some 120,000 RON share each, according to the newspaper.

Cotidianul, meanwhile, turns the heat back on ex-PM, ex-House speaker Adrian Nastase of the opposition Social-Democratic Party (PSD).

Less than a week since he had to resign as House speaker for the continuous investigations in his alleged acts of corruption while in the prime minister office, Nastase is now claiming that he cannot be investigated for another charge, related to an alleged abuse in office while a member of the Parliament.

An he demands "protection" from the Permanent Board of the House in that case, according to the newspaper.