Football: Around the world - Romania

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The Independent Online
VICTOR PITURCA, the Romanian national coach, is facing a player revolt as he prepares his squad for next summer's European Championship finals.

Two of Romania's top players are threatening to quit the national team. The talismanic midfielder Gheorghe Hagi and the former Tottenham defender Gheorghe Popescu claimed on Sunday that Piturca had "stabbed us in the back" in a series of public insults.

"In these conditions we can't work together anymore," Hagi said. The conflict started last month when Piturca said that he wanted to drop Hagi and Popescu. He also reportedly said that Hagi was "illiterate".

Piturca, who was convicted of gambling during the communist years, has refused to talk directly with the players to solve the dispute, accusing them of being "conceited".