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Gigi Becali accused of bribe in the football championship scandal

de Radu Rizea
Joi, 8 mai 2008, 11:05 English | Top News

Anti-Graft prosecutors accuse the real estate mogul Gigi Becali of bribe, after arresting five of his close collaborators yesterday. The group was found carrying 1.4 million euro, money designed - prosecutors say - for bribing the players of Universitatea Cluj. In the football game last night, between Universitatea Cluj and CFR Cluj, an even result or a victory of Universitatea would have turned Steaua Bucharest, Becali's team, into champion. Becali declared last night than his collaborators were in Cluj for real estate deals, not to bribe the Universitatea players.

Sources say that the money didn't have to be paid to the Universitatea players, the simple promise of a bribe being a criminal act.

The editor in chief of Romanian sports daily Gazeta Sporturilor, Catalin Tolontan, declared in a TV interview that Becali's collaborators were detained before the game begun and that there are suspicions that the 1.4 million euro were about to be paid to an Universitatea Cluj official, in case the game result would have turned out fine for Becali.

According to Gazeta Sporturilor, the Anti-Graft Prosecution Office (DNA) carefully monitored the way the football championship evolves in its last games and were certain that Becali would attempt to financially stimulate Universitatea, in order to prevent CFR from winning the title. All five collaborators of Gigi Becali were released during the night, around 3.00 AM. Along with them, the prosecutors also detained one of the Universitatea Cluj players, Gigel Coman.

In case the prosecutors prove that the money was for Universitatea, Steaua risks to lose up to 9 points in its ranking and a severe fine.

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