On Monday The Union of European Football Association has rejected Budapest Honvéd’s petition, in which the Hungarian team appealed its rematch against Universitatea Craiova because of the scandalous incident that happened in the last minutes of an August 1 away match. UEFA, however sanctioned the Romanian team with a 60,000 EUR penalty, and ordered to play its next three international home matches behind closed doors. Both parties appealed the verdict.
Budapest Honvéd’s announcement about UEFA’s decision
“…despite the scandalous match in Craiova, the Union of European Football Association rejected the petition of our club, and approved the result achieved on the field. This means that Honvéd – unbeaten- have to say goodbye to the Europa League, while Universitatea Craiova can host the Greek AEK Athen on Thursday. …they justified the rejection, with that -according to their opinion- no such happening took place, which could influence the end result of the match “, Honvéd said in a statement. The Hungarian club is going to hold a press conference concerning the UEFA’s decision on Tuesday at 11:30.
“We didn’t take the decision easily” – said Honvéd owner, Dániel Mendelényi on Monday in Kossuth Radio. “After the first reading I have to say that this rejection is all about a little bit, that there is nothing to see here, we should move on and we should forget the whole thing. But neither Honvéd, nor I am the type who would give it up so easily.”
Mendelényi also added that the UEFA informed the club about its decision in an eight pages long letter, which they disagree with. According to him the justification includes contradictions. It is emphasized at one page that “football is like this”, and the players have to get used to playing under pressure and that they were not in danger after all. But on the other hand at another page where the facts are listed
UEFA writes: that if the match would had been abandoned nobody’s safety could have been guaranteed neither inside nor outside the stadium.
The letter here refers to the representatives of gendarmerie who told the above statement to UEFA officals at the scene in the stadium. The match was continued after this consultation, and after a half an hour break.
“This is a real bad message suggesting that from now on anything could happen. It is no coincidence that I said earlier that the 12th player is the supporter, but in Romania the 13th player was the Gendarmerie.”
–said the Hungarian club owner in a short interview Monday evening for honvedfc.hu.
Craiova club president, Sorin Cartu called UEFA’s verdict drastic on Telekom Sport TV and said that they are –also- going to appeal against it. He even hopes that his team can play against AEK Athen front of its supporters on Thursday. His confidence is also shown by the fact that Craiova has been already selling tickets since last Saturday –two days before UEFA’s decision was even made- in package for the AEK Athen match on Thursday and the Sepsi OSK -Romanian First League- match on Sunday.
The first commentary from the Romanian Digisport TV Monday evening suggested that UEFA has chosen the golden mean: not disqualifying Craiova, but punishing it heavily.
Title image: Northern Irish referee, Arnold Hunter is on the ground after being injured in the 119. minute as a result of a sound grenade blown up right behind him and a metal lighter hitting his head. (Photo: MTI/EPA/Bogdan Danescu)