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Alibec: People are trying to hurt me over smoking claims

Romania striker Denis Alibec has strongly denied allegations that he went for a smoke during his country’s opening Euro 2016 defeat to France.

Alibec appeared as a 61st-minute substitute during the 2-1 defeat last Friday but found himself at the centre of a row between coach Anghel Iordanescu and a journalist at Tuesday’s pre-match news conference ahead of their second Group A encounter against Switzerland at the Parc des Princes.

Iordanescu branded the reporter “a liar” over claims published by his newspaper, Gazeta Sporturilor, that Alibec went to smoke a cigarette before the start of the second half of the match, which was poised at 0-0.

Astra forward Alibec spoke to the publication himself to firmly distance himself from the reports.

“I warmed up and then went to the locker room to change boots. I came back and everything was okay,” he said. “I did not fight with anyone, there is not a question of that.

“I do not know who would throw such information just to hurt me. I prepare myself as seriously as possible.

“I do not understand who wants to hurt me but I will answer them on the field. I have no time for strife – I am at Euro 2016 and want to help Romania reach the latter stages.

“I hope to have the chance to play more, but that is for the coach to decide.”

He added: “I am disappointed. All the staff did not know about the [allegation] and saw the morning newspaper.”

Alibec scored 19 times across all competitions last season as Astra were crowned Romanian champions.

Romania play Switzerland in Paris later on Wednesday.

Wed 15 Jun, 2016
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