Cluj chief Bogdan Mara says referee favoured Celtic

By David Walton

August 14, 2019

CFR Cluj Director Bogdan Mara has rubbed salt into the wounds by claiming that the referee favoured Celtic last night.

Cluj overcame the Hoops in a surprising turn of events at Celtic Park last night. The Romanian champions left with an incredible 5-4 aggregate success as they managed to notch four goals at Parkhead.

All of Cluj’s goals were gifted to them by Neil Lennon’s side too. Perhaps none of them were as frustrating as Cluj’s second, however, as a Scott Brown hand-ball gave the visitors a penalty that Bilel Omrani dispatched.

Last night was a disaster (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

But despite that decision, Mara believes it was CELTIC who got all the decisions from the referee on the night. Speaking to DigiSport, the Cluj chief took delight in rubbing salt in the wounds.

“It was normal to have the referee on their side. We saw many phases in which he dictated very easily in their favour, and even (missed) a clear penalty for us.

“I don’t have much words. I don’t think there has been a match with such intensity in recent years played by a Romanian team in the Champions League.”

Referee was very lenient towards Cluj’s time-wasters

You can’t help but feel this is some sort of tongue-in-cheek remark from Mara here. Either that or he’s just totally blind to what actually happened on the pitch.

From the start of the contest, referee Andris Treimanis allowed the visitors away with all sorts of rash challenges and complaints. When Cluj had the lead in the tie, he was also happy for them to strut about the place wasting time as much as they could.

Bogdan Mara was keen to rub salt into Celtic’s wounds (Daniel Mihailescu/EuroFootball/Getty Images)

Make no mistake, the referee wasn’t to blame for Celtic’s exit. But he could’ve been a lot tougher on Cluj, and he most certainly didn’t favour the men in green and white.

You get the sense that Mara is just trying to stir the pot here. Cluj were pretty classless throughout the night, so it makes sense that they would continue to be so off the pitch too


The Champions League is all over for Neil Lennon (Alex Nicodim/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Of course that doesn’t extend to their supporters, who cheered their team on all night and behaved impeccably in the away end.

But Celtic will simply have so many regrets after last night. This was a team that was there for the taking. Cluj weren’t anything to write home about, and their defence was there to be got at. In the end, we only have ourselves to blame for our ridiculous mistakes.