FC Universitatea Craiova
|Full name||Fotbal Club Universitatea Craiova|
The Champion of a Great Love
|League||the club was excluded by FRF from all competitions|
|Website||Club home page|
Fotbal Club Universitatea Craiova (Romanian pronunciation: [universiˈtate̯a kraˈjova]) is a Romanian professional football club from Craiova. They became the first Romanian football team to reach the semi-finals of a European tournament, during the UEFA Cup in 1982–83. The club was disaffiliated by the Romanian Football Federation on 14 May 2012, following their temporary exclusion since 20 July 2011, after it was not allowed to address civil justice in a labor dispute with coach Victor Piţurcă.
The club retired from the competition after 22 matches of the 2013–14 Liga II season. FC Universitatea Craiova is not currently a member of the Romanian Football Federation; the court confirmed that the 2012 disafiiliation was legal.
The football history in the city of Craiova began in the year 1921, when the first teams were founded: Craiovan Craiova and Rovine Griviţa Craiova.
In the year 1940, the two teams from Craiova merged, resulting in one of the most successful Romanian football teams in the Interwar period, FC Craiova, which was also the first team from the city to win the Romanian football championship, in the 1942–43 season. However the title was not officialized by the Romanian Football Federation, because of World War II.
Finally in 1948, Universitatea Craiova took life at the initiative of a group of students and professors, a team which latter would become one of the most popular and successful teams from Romania.
In the 1982–83 season, the team recorded their most notable continental performance in its history. Under the management of Constantin Oţet and Nicolae Ivan, Universitatea Craiova reached the semifinals of the UEFA Cup, after defeating some of the best known clubs in European football, such as AC Fiorentina (runners-up in Italian Serie A), Girondins Bordeaux (France), and FC Kaiserslautern (Germany). In the first European cup semifinal ever played by a Romanian club, Universitatea encountered Benfica (Portugal), two times European champions and three times European Cup finalists. After two draws, the Portuguese side advanced to the final on aggregate away goals. That generation of players was nicknamed Craiova Maxima and included Ilie Balaci, Rodion Cămătaru, Costică Ştefănescu, Zoltan Crişan, Ion Geolgău, Aurică Beldeanu, Costică Donose, Silviu Lung etc.
Universitatea Craiova after 1991
In 1991, Universitatea Craiova won for the last time the Championship and the Romanian Cup, under Sorin Cârţu as coach. In the following years, Craiova became a middle-table team, with rather poor performances. At the end of the 2004–05 season they were relegated to the second football division for the first time in the club's history, returning to the first league after the following season.
Exclusion from FRF
On 20 July 2011, the club was temporarily excluded by the Romanian Football Federation for failing to withdraw their dispute with former coach Victor Piţurcă from a civil court, as per article 57 of the FRF statute which states that the Football Federation solves all the sports lawsuits. However, the article allows disputes regarding employment contracts to be adjudicated in civil court. The exclusion decision was approved by the FRF General Assembly on 14 May 2012. All of the squad players were declared free agents and signed with other clubs.
An investigation was started by the National Anticorruption Directorate on 22 October 2011, against the heads of the Romanian Professional Football League and of the Football Federation, as well as against the Executive Committee members of the FRF, on charges of official misconduct in the case of the exclusion. The Football Federation, the Professional Football League, and members of the Executive Committee reportedly had some of the their properties seized by the National Anticorruption Directorate. On 14 May 2012, the Executive Committee validated the temporary exclusion decision taken on 20 July 2011.
On 22 June 2012, the Bucharest Court of Appeal ruled that the exclusion of Universitatea Craiova from FRF was illegal. On 15 November 2012, the Court ruled that the validation decision was also illegal. Although the club was invited to sign up in the Liga II for the 2012–13 season, the owner of the club refused this invitation.
On 2 March 2013, the club announced that it filed a request to rejoin the competitions, starting from the 2013–14 season. It will play in Liga II. Universitatea Craiova officially rejoined the competition on 27 August 2013, when defeated SCM Argeşul Piteşti in the fourth round of the Romanian Cup, qualifying to the fifth round of the competition.
In April 2014 the High Court of Cassation and Justice confirmed that the Romanian Football Federation "acted in accordance with regulations and statutes in force when members voted to exclude the club".
FC Universitatea Craiova's main rival is FC Dinamo București. This rivalry started in the seventies, when Dinamo denied Universitatea Craiova's first title in 1973. The rivalry was amplified in 2002 and 2005 when Dinamo transferred an important group of players from Craiova.
Other rivalry of Universitatea Craiova is also with FC Steaua București.
Although, FC Rapid București was a friend of Universitatea Craiova, under the slogan "Rapid și Craiova se iubesc la infinit" until 1998, when Universitatea Craiova blocked Rapid to win a championship.
- Winners (4): 1973–74, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1990–91
- Runners-up (5): 1972–73, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1993–94, 1994–95
- Winners (6): 1976–77, 1977–78, 1980–81, 1982–83, 1990–91, 1992–93
- Runners-up (5): 1974–75, 1984–85, 1993–94, 1997–98, 1999–00
- Winners (1): 1957–58
- Quarter-Finals: 1981–82
- Semi-Finals: 1982–83
- Runners-up: 1978
Norcia Winter Cup Italy
- Winners: 2003
|UEFA Champions League / European Cup||4||12||4||2||6||14||17||–3|
|UEFA Cup Winners' Cup / European Cup Winners' Cup||4||14||6||2||6||26||21||+5|
|UEFA Europa League / UEFA Cup||13||48||20||9||19||45||45||0|
|UEFA Intertoto Cup||2||8||4||2||2||15||11||+4|
As of June 2014, the club had the following players under contract: Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Notable former coaches
- "Hotărâri ale Comitetului Executiv al FRF". FRF. 20 July 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
- "Somaţie trimisă Fotbal Club U Craiova". FRF. 13 July 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- "Statutul Federatiei Romane de Fotbal". FRF. 26 February 2010. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- "Universitatea a MURIT, trăiască Ştiinţa! Maşinăria de vot a lui Sandu a mers perfect". ProSport. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
- "DNA a început urmărirea penală faţă de Comitetul Executiv al Federaţiei Române de Fotbal". Antena3. 22 October 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
- "Şefii FRF, învinuiţi de DNA în dosarul cu privire la dezafilierea Universităţii Craiova". Antena3. 26 October 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
- "DNA a pus sechestru pe sediile FRF şi LPF". RTV.net. 4 April 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
- "O nouă victorie pentru Craiova la Tribunal! Sentinţa este una executorie şi produce efecte imediate". ProSport. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- "CURTEA DE APEL: Dezafilierea Universităţii Craiova, ILEGALĂ!". Realiteatea.net. 22 June 2012. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- "FRF va invita oficial clubul Universitatea Craiova să se înscrie în Liga a II-a". Mediafax. 16 July 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- "Mititelu nu vrea să înscrie Universitatea Craiova în Liga a II-a". Libertatea. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- "FC Universitatea Craiova se intoarce in fotbalul romanesc". Ediţie Specială. 2 March 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- Official website (Romanian)
- Official fan club page (Romanian)
- Gruppo Maxima website (Romanian)
- Unofficial blog (English)
- Ştiinţa Craiova (Romanian)
- Soccerway profile (English)
- O Craiovano (Brazilian Portuguese)