Football in Moldova and Transnistria is a micro-universe with its own rules, which generally are that the rules are to be broken. Shootings, arbitration intimidation, massive rigging and a long list of episodes where reality rivals fiction … Here se moves the Sheriff unopposed, perhaps simply because it is the most organized and best funded of the competition. Let’s take the Moldovan Konstructorul as an example. At the head, a charismatic president, Valéry Rotari. From the underworld of the Moldovan underworld to lead his club to win the league, not without working hard.

Threats at gunpoint, explosions in the stadium, a string of violence until he was finally shot to death in his car. His heirs did not take a 0-8 against CSKA Sofia well and waited for the referee at the airport to beat him up. UEFA sanctioned them with two years without being able to play European competitions.

Or let’s look at Grigory Korzun, the owner of Tiraspol Tiligul, who lost the club and the stadium, historical insignia of local football, playing cards. He got involved in a game in which, once the night was over, he could only pay off his enormous debt by transferring the rights of the club to the businessman who had won him. The Tiligul disappeared six years later.

And what about Mikhail Makhovei, the landowner who dreamed of bringing an unknown team to the Moldovan elite. In 2004 he decided to show his disagreement to a referee in the middle of the game by breaking into the field with his Audi to try to run him over. Only the military formation of the elusive braid prevented the tragedy. The incident was resolved with a fine of $ 2,000. More punishment received Iulian Bursuc, a former Moldovan international, who lost his papers in 2011 during a match and responded to a red by throwing a hook to international referee Ghenadie Sidenco. It was a punishment of ten years and the end of his sports career.

Nor is the Sheriff’s owner spared from this string of controversial practices, controversial mogul Viktor Gusen, which according to various sources has a habit of calling the locker room during breaks to make technical appraisals to the coach and came to fire one for not taking them into account …

The referees, under the magnifying glass

In Moldova, a country on the border with Ukraine, the Divizia Nationala is so fragile that almost 40 clubs have disappeared due to debt., the squads are struggling with salaries of between 300 and 500 euros a month and money carries more weight than the ball. The gambling problem became so serious that an investigation recently uncovered a score of cases of match-fixing.

The referees are under the magnifying glass. On each day a technical committee evaluates the arbitration in detail and if it detects relevant failures (that can suggest possible bribes) pulls out the ax. It is common to see referees sanctioned with penalties of up to eight games. The penalties are made public to try to give some transparency to this wild Moldovan football that dominates in sports and economics the Sheriff, today’s Madrid rival.


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