EUR 2020: Officials, ex-football legends react after VIP seats scandal

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Former national and international football legends Gheorghe Hagi, Gheorghe Popescu and Dorinel Munteanu attended the Austria-North Macedonia football game within EURO 2002 from the second gallery of National Arena stadium in Bucharest on Sunday, while some local politicians and officials of the Romanian Football Federation (FRF) watched the match from the VIP section.
FRF replied that the entire ticketing procedure at EURO 2020 had been managed by UEFA, which is not offering invitations.
National Anti-corruption chief Crin Bologa, speakers of the Parliament Chambers, Ludovic Orban and Anca Dragu, deputy PM Dan Barna and Bucharest mayor Nicusor Dan stayed in the  VIP section of National Arena during the Austria-North Macedonia game, next to the FRF president Razvan Burleanu or Mihai Stoichita.
FRF told gsp.ro that UEFA had managed the EURO 2020 ticketing process.

“FRF filed a request to UEFA to buy tickets to offer seats in the courtside to former football legends and received first category tickets. The price is printed on the ticket. FRF made these proceedings for 60 glories of the Romanian football, proving them with the best option at hand. As for the VIP seats, FRF has not had seats in this sector. UEFA had their own guests, Romanian and foreign ones. At the same time, UEFA has a another criteria to share the seats in the galleries, different from the Gallery I, Gallery II and Base Line. The 3 UEFA categories are: First Category -among the two 16msquares, on both sides of the arena; Second Category- the corners of the field and Third Category- base lines,” reads the FRF statement.

The speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Ludovic Orban also said he had been invited ad he had no say in the ticketing issue. “I was invited (…) it wasn’t me to have decided the distribution of the seats in the gallery”, he said.
Gheorghe Popescu said he expected to get a ticket at the official gallery. “A share of 700 tickets was granted to the Bucharest City Hall according to the UEFA protocol. That’s it! After that, those 700 tickets were split, half-half between the City Hall and the Government. And I bought tickets for some friends from the Government’s share, they were all at the second category”, Popescu said.
Gheorghe Hagi replied in its turn: “I had no problem at all. I wanted to see the match, I stayed where I had a seat, I liked the game, it’s all I can say. For the rest, I have no comment.”
Dorinel Munteanu said he was annoyed that he had not got a ticket at the VIP section, adding he even considered to skip the game.

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