Two years ago I had this minor, illicit affair with Romanian soccer. I developed a weird affinity for Emmanuel Koné. I argued the cases of Adrian and Andrei Cristea, wishing they were brothers (unfortunately, biologically impossible). I was able to watch CFR Cluj win their second-ever Liga, albiet from 6,500 miles away.
Now Cluj has come back into my life, and for all the wrong reasons.
CFR entered today’s Cluj derby against Universitatea with a three-point league lead, though any hopes of extending that margin ended half an hour into the match when Universitatea goalkeeper Mircea Bornescu clobbered CFR captain Cadu.
Context: CFR had been awarded a penalty, which Cadu converted. He celebrated by running behind the goal to play for the crowd, something to which Bornescu took exception. After that … well, you can see the rest:
Bornescu and Cadu both saw red. Going down the tunnel, chaos breaks down. In the aftermath, CFR coach Ioan Andone refuses to put his players back on the pitch, citing concerns for their safety.
You can read more on Radu Baicu’s blog, the scout noting this could be “a great favor” for CFR. For us, it’s just another example of perfectly reasonable, entirely explicable behavior.