Is It Over for Honvéd? UEFA Decided Not to Disqualify CSU Craiova
Ábrahám Vass 2019.08.06.
Although CSU Craiova got a strict punishment, UEFA decided not to disqualify the Romanian club, after last week’s scandalous 2nd leg, which means that Budapest Honvéd is out of the Europa League. The Hungarian club’s leadership, however, protests the decision and announced that “the game is not over yet”.
UEFA has fined CSU Craiova € 60,000 and ordered the Romanian club to play its two next international games behind closed doors (a third one is up in the air for two years).
Last Thursday, in the last minute of extra time of the second leg, played in Craiova, a brawl broke out between players. A smoke bomb was thrown from the stands at the pitch and exploded near referee Arnold Hunter. Within moments, a lighter struck the referee and he needed treatment. As a consequence, the match did not restart for more than half an hour. Although Honvéd’s manager demanded the game be called off, in the end, it resumed with the fourth official taking a charge. In the penalty shootout, Craiova won 3-1 and progressed into the third qualifying round.
Shortly after the final whistle, Honvéd announced to take legal steps as the Hungarian club thought the referee should have called off the game after the serious violation of the rules.
According to UEFA’s official reasoning, as the scandal occurred at the very end of the extra time, it had no impact on the outcome of the match.
Honvéd owner Dániel Mendelényi told the club’s portal that he is “shocked” about the decision. He added that they would lodge an appeal submitting the necessary documents on Tuesday morning and requesting a personal interview with UEFA.
In Romania, the decision got a mixed reaction, with many thinking that UEFA chose the “middle way”. CSU Craiova’s president Sorin Cartu was, however, disappointed: “not quite what we expected,” he commented the ruling. Similarly to Honvéd, the Oltenian club will appeal the decision.
Moreover, Honvéd CEO Gábor Kun told a press conference on Tuesday morning that Honvéd would also face proceeding at UEFA, “due to the fans’ alleged inappropriate behavior and chants.”
CSU Craiova will face Greek AEK Athens in the next round. This means that, as early as August, all three Hungarian teams are now out of Europa League, with Ferencváros being the last man standing in Champions League. Fradi will face Dinamo Zagreb tonight in the Croatian capital.