Steaua president faces second bribery charge

BUCHAREST: The president of Steaua Bucharest was on Friday charged for a second time in as many days by police for offering cash to players of another team to beat one of Steaua's main rivals.

Gigi Becali on Thursday was charged with offering a Romanian club 1mil euros in cash in an audacious and illegal bid to prevent FCR Cluf from winning the title.

Twenty four hours later he was accused of a similar gesture dating back to 2006 when he offered each player with Gloria Bistrita 5,000 euros for a draw and 10,000 euros for a win against Steaua's city rivals Rapid.

Becali, 49, was one of four men charged over the FCR Cluj affair which erupted on Wednesday night when five men were arrested in possession of a suitcase containing 1mil euros in cash.

The cash was reportedly put up as an incentive by Steaua to Universitatea Cluj to draw with or beat CFR Cluj, who were involved in a neck and neck battle with Steaua for the Romanian league title.

In the end Universitatea lost Wednesday's game 1-0, leaving CFR to claim the title on the last day of the season by a single point from Steaua.

The other men charged with Becali, a former shepherd turned multi-millionaire businessman, were Universitatea president Anton Dobos, Steaua vice-president Teia Sponte, and Gigel Coman, a former Steaua player but now with Universitatea. – AFP

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