Romania relegate first division team due to tax debts

July 22, 2006

BUCHAREST, July 22 (Reuters) - The Romanian Soccer Federation (FRF) is to relegate local first division team Sportul Studentesc Bucharest to the second division because of outstanding tax debts.

'Sportul Studentesc will play in the second division after local tax authorities established the club owes around three million euros ($3.79 million) to the state budget,' FRF spokesman Paul Zaharia said on Saturday.

Earlier this year, the local tax authorities said first division clubs owed more than 30 millions euros accumulated in the past 16 years to the state. The average of the local 18 first division clubs' annual budget is around 4.5 million euros.

'All Romanian first division clubs have different debts to the state budget but Sportul Studentesc failed to start any payments,' Zaharia said. 'All other clubs already paid different sums so they will remain in the first division.'

Pandurii Tirgu Jiu, who were relegated last season, were reinstated to the first division.

Sportul Studentesc, fourth in the last season's table, said they would appeal against the decision. The local championship resumes on July 28.