By Chris Wright
FCM Targu Mures midfielder Gabriel Muresan has been hit with an unprecedented domestic ban after leaving Steaua Bucharest striker Raul Rusescu nursing a zygomatic bone fracture – a busted eye socket in Layman’s terms.
Muresan smashed an elbow into Rusescu’s face during an aerial tussle between the pair that, doctors reportedly later stated, almost resulted in the Steaua forward losing an eye.
Referee Istvan Kovacs only saw fit to administer Muresan with a yellow card at the time, however the Romanian Football Federation (FRF) have since suspended the Targu enforcer for a record 16 matches – the majority of the remainder of the season – also sticking him with a 25,000 lei (roughly £4,500) fine.
According to the Guardian, local media described referee Kovacs’s performance as “shameful” after Steaua were forced to replace three injured players in the first 28 minutes of the game – with Rusescu, fellow striker Claudiu Keseru and defender Iasmin Latovlevici all injured by reckless challenges from Targu players.
Indeed, as well as Muresan, Targu midfielder Ousmane N’Doye was also punished for violent conduct after the game, first swiping his studs across Keseru’s face as the Steaua striker lay prone on the ground (visible at the start of the video above) before being shown a red card after the final whistle for his part in an altercation which flared up in the middle of the pitch.
Keseru was apparently taken to hospital, where he later revealed he couldn’t remember when or why he had been substituted.
N’Doye, for the record, was administered with a six-match ban courtesy of the FRF.
“It’s a drastic decision, I’ve never seen anything like this,” seethed Targu Mures’ general director Daniel Stanciu.
“How can a player be suspended for 16 matches since he wasn’t even sent off?
“I don’t understand N’Doye’s ban either. We will appeal.”
Fun, fun, fun in the Romanian Liga 1.