Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Iordanescu blasts ´shameful´ claims Romania and Slovakia wanted Euro 2024 draw

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 26 Jun 2024

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Romania head coach Edward Iordanescu was left furious after suggestions his side could manipulate a draw with Slovakia to ensure Euro 2024 progression.

With all four sides level on points heading into the final matchday, a point apiece in Romania’s game would have ensured both teams went through to the last 16 regardless of Belgium’s result against Ukraine.

Iordanescu’s men ultimately prevailed as unlikely Group E winners after their 1-1 draw with Slovakia, coupled with Belgium’s goalless stalemate on Wednesday.

Yet Iordanescu noted claims his team would play for – or attempt to manipulate – a share of the spoils, blasting those suggestions after the match.

“I believe it was clear that both teams gave everything for 80 minutes,” Iordanescu told reporters. “Everybody gave their best.

“To speak before a game and to throw mud to the teams and to the players and to our work and to our dignity is shameful.

“They should have waited and seen and then judged us, so this was shameful, it was not nice. They threw this garbage to us but not just to us but to the team, to our fans and to everybody.

“We showed that we have character. Romania all the time fights with character and if we were going to lose and go home, we would have gone home but with our dignity intact.”

Former Romania international Danut Lupu had previously said in an interview with AS.Ro that a draw had been arranged and there was no point risking a loss.

Any such suggestions were rubbished come kick-off as the pair fired 22 shots between them, with nine on target in a close-fought encounter in Frankfurt.

Romania’s reward will be a last-16 meeting with the Netherlands, while Slovakia will face England.

Iordanescu is certain to have the backing of the travelling Romanians again.

“Almost the whole stadium was yellow,” he added. “They were so close. They followed us at the train station, at the hotel, when we went on trips, training, when we got back to the hotel.

“That’s absolutely incredible. And I really hope that this will continue.”

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