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Romania to try Timisoara

Published: Friday 25 October 2002, 14.11CET
Romania will return to Timisoara after 16 years when they play Croatia in a friendly on 20 November.
Published: Friday 25 October 2002, 14.11CET

Romania to try Timisoara

Romania will return to Timisoara after 16 years when they play Croatia in a friendly on 20 November.

Romania will play their first international in Timisoara for 16 years when they take on Croatia in a friendly on 20 November.

Pitch battle
The decision follows the row over the state of the Steaua stadium pitch in Bucharest where Anghel Iordanescu's side lost a EURO 2004™ qualifier against Norway last week in quagmire conditions.

Alternative venues
Iordanescu joined Gabriel Oprea, the governor of Bucharest, and other officials in inspecting an alternative venue in Focsani, 170 kilometres from the capital, while a stadium in Craiova was also considered, before the decision was taken to play in Timisoara.

West of Romania
The 46,000-capacity Dan Paltinisanu stadium will stage the match, which will kick off at 13.00CET due to the absence of floodlights. Timisoara is the biggest city in western Romania, located 600 kilometres from Bucharest. Anton Dobos, one of Iordanescu's assistants, is co-owner of FC Politehnica AEK Timisoara, the local club, and his other assistant, Iosif Rotariu, lives in the city.

Full house
The locals' enthusiasm for football - Politehnica have an average attendance of over 25,000 at the stadium this season - should ensure a full house for the friendly.

Last time out
Only five times in the last 16 years have Romania played outside Bucharest - three times in Constanta and twice in Ploiesti. Romania have played three times previously in Timisoara and beat the Soviet Union 2-1 in a friendly on that last occasion they played there.

Last updated: 25/10/02 14.23CET

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