Diaconu suffered a serious injury to his left leg in a car accident six months ago. It left the 33-year-old requiring a complicated surgical procedure in Italy to even have a chance of walking again, let alone refereeing. However, the operation will cost €25,000, which Diaconu could only afford by selling his house.
Upon learning of Diaconu's plight, all the referees and assistant referees involved in last weekend's Romanian first and second division games decided to donate their match fees to their colleague. The gesture earned around €8,000, nearly a third of the money Diaconu needs.
"I don't know if he will be able to referee again, but at least he can be saved as a human being," said Ion Craciunescu, head of the Romanian Football Federation's referee committee and a former international referee. He added: "
The referees decided on this initiative themselves, without being forced by someone. It's a fantastic and touching gesture."
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