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Argentina drops friendly match in Bucharest, Romania says would turn to FIFA in the case

de V.O.
Marţi, 26 iulie 2011, 11:30 English | Top News

National Arena
Romanian plans to open for public its newly rebuilt National Arena stadium with a friendly match against a major team were dealt a heavy blow as the Argentinian Football Federation announced the match against Romania, due to take place on August 10, was cancelled. The Argentinian federation announced on its website the national selection committee decided to put an end to the contract with Sergio Batista and cancel the friendly match with Romania. Romanian football officials said on Tuesday they would turn to FIFA in the case and claim substantial damages in the case.

Organizers of the Bucharest match announced some 38,000 tickets have already been sold, which puts the Romanian Football Federation in the almost impossible situation of finding a major adversary in two weeks only. A decision must also be made on covering the money spent by supporters on the tickets for the Romania-Argentina friendly, as many paid to see stars such as Messi play here.

Argentina's national team is largely formed of Real Madrid and FC Barcelona players. Both clubs put huge pressure on the Argentinian federation to avoid their players come to Bucharest on August 10 as they will face each other on August 14 and 17.

Romanian Football Federation head Mircea Sandu said on Tuesday the match was arranged as early as October last year and that the contract had clear clauses: one of them the Argentinian team include Messi Higuain and Mascherano.

The costs of organizing the march amount to some 1,3 million US dollars and two of the three installments have already been paid.

Mircea Sandu said he would turn to FIFA and claim substantial damages should the match be cancelled for good. He said the Romanian part has yet to receive an official notification about the Argentinian decision as the only announcement came in the form of a press release posted on a website.

Mircea Sandu said Portugal may be a solution as he has already sent a letter there inviting them to play against Romania instead of Luxembourg. Should Portugal respond positively, it would be an interesting friendly. Otherwise, the National Arena would be inaugurated with a match against France on September 6, he said.

But Sandu insisted he was paying all the efforts to have Argentina come to Bucharest, Messi included. If it's not possible, eventually he would not oppose an Argentinian team without Messi.

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