February 4, 2015 / 2:56 PM / 5 years ago

Soccer-Cluj deducted 24 points after running up serious debts

BUCHAREST, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Romanian club CFR Cluj were deducted 24 points by the Romanian Football League on Wednesday because of their inability to deal with spiralling debts.

The Railwaymen, one of the most successful clubs in the Black Sea country in the last decade, have fallen on hard times and owe nearly 20 million euros ($22.85 million) to the state, former players and coaches.

Cluj won three league titles, three national cups and two Supercups between 2008 and 2012. They also played in the Champions League group stage three times.

Last November, players at the financially troubled club threatened to boycott a league game because of unpaid wages and bonuses

The decision means that the cash-strapped side slip from second to bottom in the 18-team Romanian league with 10 points, a point behind Rapid Bucharest.

Cluj’s lawyer said the club will appeal the sanction, adding that the club have filed for insolvency on Wednesday. Another six Romanian clubs, including Dinamo Bucharest and Rapid also filed for insolvency in the past two years.

Many Romanian clubs face considerable infrastructure difficulties and are struggling to meet administrative, legal and financial conditions laid down by European soccer’s governing body UEFA.

$1 = 0.8751 euros Reporting by Angel Krasimirov, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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