By Chris Wright
It seems the Romanian Football Federation (FRF) are super serious about cracking down on violent conduct in their domestic leagues.
Just 24 hours after we saw FCM Targu Mures midfielder Gabriel Muresan hit with a record 16-match ban for leaving Steaua Bucharest striker Raul Rusescu with a broken eye socket, the FRF have slapped a second Liga 1 player with an identical ban for an equally rogue tackle.
FC Viitorul Constanta defender Alin Seroni has been suspended for a late challenge that fractured the ankle of Universitatea Craiova midfielder Nicusor Bancu (the photographic evidence is particularly grim) during a Romanian Cup tie last weekend.
The incident occurred during the first period of extra-time, with Seroni being shown a yellow card for his nasty lunge.
Viitorul have announced that, much like Targu Mures, they intend to appeal Seroni’s ban, with owner and manager Gheorghe Hagi (yes, that Gheorghe Hagi) telling local media:
“Yes, we’ll appeal the ban. It’s Seroni’s first offence and it wasn’t intentional.
“He doesn’t feel good, he realises what he did but – at the same time – it’s difficult to accept that he’ll not play in the next 16 matches.”
Are we alone in feeling a smidge of admiration for the FRF’s hardline stance here? Seems like an awfully effective way to affect change.
Honestly, we’d like to see the Premier League follow suit with 16-match bans for diving, both “emphasising” and “anticipating” contact, feigning injury, waving imaginary yellow cards, screeching at officials, general childish petulance, being Andy Townsend, etc, etc.
It’d be like Pies’ version of the Elysian Fields.