Steaua Bucharest No Longer Allowed to Call Themselves Steaua Bucharest

 9 years, 5 months ago 0 Comments

Steaua Bucharest


Fans of Pro Evolution Soccer, FIFA and Football Manager (or Championship Manager for the diehards) will be thoroughly familiar with the name Steaua Bucharest, a stalwart in European competition since Romanian football was invented.


However, the most successful club in the history of the country finds themselves in the bizarre position of being nameless, due to losing a legal battle to own the rights to their identity.


The paradox arises from the fact that Steaua was formerly affiliated to the Romanian army as part of their sports team. In 1994, it was bought out by private investors, but in the 20 intervening years no-one bothered to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s. Now, the Romanian Ministry of Defence has decided that Steaua have been using their identity without their consent and the decision has been upheld by Romanian justice – leaving the team nameless and crestless.


The debacle was underlined at the weekend when the team were forced to play in their away kit with the badge taped over. On the scoreboard and in the matchday program, they were simply referred to as “the hosts”, while the announcer took great pride in covering up the gaffe by calling them “champions of Romania” all night long.


gigi becali upset

Gigi not happy.


The owner of Steaua Bucharest, Gigi Becali, is a fascinating character who seems by turns endearingly eccentric, repulsively bigoted and, on more than one occasion, alarmingly violent. He is currently said to be negotiating the safe return of Steaua’s identity from his prison cell, where he was unceremoniously dumped after pocketing large wads of state money between 2006 and 2009. The manager is also currently imprisoned due to “abuse of power”.


To be fair to Steaua, they are already known as “The Champions of Romania” or some such fluff on Pro Evolution Soccer anyway, so perhaps only fans of FIFA will be alert to the change.

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