Romania, in the twilight zone of football: Marius Avram shows why we have repeated refereeing blunders EXCLUSIVE

Within 24 hours, two matches from the 24th stage, Sepsi – Universitatea Craiova and FCSB – Farul, were marred by some incredible mistakes by “the knights of the whistle“, with video arbitration, with everything.

Marius Avram, unpleasantly surprised, for his part, by what he sees in the domestic championship

Adevărul spoke with the former center, Marius Avram (44 years old), in an attempt to unravel the mystery of these repeated blunders.

The “Truth”: Let's start with the story of Istvan Kovacs, from The X-Files! How is it possible to referee well in the Champions League, for example, and then have blunders in the lane, like in Sepsi – Craiova?!

Marius Avram: The explanation starts from what we have observed in the championship in recent years. Namely the lack of accountability. I mean, before, things were like this: you refereed well in the country, you were automatically promoted to referee well abroad. To develop your career. Do you not referee well in the country? There was a discussion, in a first phase, and later some measures were taken. Because, first of all, you had to understand that you, as a referee, have to perform here, with us, in the domestic championship! Well, now, if there is no more accountability from this point of view, because the officials from the Central Referees Commission are more concerned with what our people are doing outside, then things like this appear. How was the performance of Istvan Kovacs at Sepsi – Craiova. In short, it's a lack of concentration. I have no other explanation.

The goal disallowed for Farul in the match against FCSB. How is it possible to draw the wrong lines in video refereeing and dictate an offside that was not?

The explanation is a bit longer. When you draw the line, at the last point of the player's body you are counting, if that player has a foot on the ground, then that is the last point. Such a line, in such a case, is very easy to draw. There is a line called “Single line”, at the level of the foot on the grass. But when part of the body is in the air, then a slightly more complex procedure is needed. And what is called triangulation is done. In short, several cameras are taken and then a projection is made onto the lawn from that point, a line perpendicular to the lawn, and there, again, the simple line I was talking about earlier is drawn. That's why I say that when the player is in the air, the procedure is a bit more complex. In the match FCSB – Farul, they (no – those in the VAR room) did not make this projection. From the picture I saw, with the lines in the VAR room, it's obvious that they drew the “single” line, at head level, from a completely wrong angle. And then came this erroneous decision to cancel the goal for an offside that was not.

We are therefore talking about poor training of VAR referees…

It looks like it. At phases like this, the VAR referee must confirm that the line is drawn correctly. He is the one who makes the decision, he is the one who gives the OK, so that the image with the drawn lines is transmitted to the televisions. So it's 100 percent his responsibility.

Do we have a low-cost VAR in Romania?

Do you know what's going on? Our low-cost VAR makes things last longer compared to what happens in other leagues. For example, in the FCSB – Farul match, the offside decision was made after 7 minutes. Last year, at a Botoșani match, I had the record in this chapter: decision made after about 10 minutes! Since we have fewer cameras, until you do the triangulation, until you draw the line, the system jumps, you have to start over… And then it takes longer with us. But in terms of how the lines are drawn and how the points are taken, the landmarks, how they do the projection and the triangulation, those are the responsibilities of the VARs. This part has nothing to do with the VAR software. There are details related to the training of the VAR referee and how he chooses to handle each phase. Here, at the match FCSB – Farul, he did not respect the procedure related to how he should draw the lines and where to take his marks.

Erroneous penalty awarded to Farul. How is such a wrong decision possible with VAR intervention?!

I have a suspicion that Andrei Chivulete, being in the VAR room and realizing, at some point, that he was wrong with the offside, waited for every little phase and signaled it as a kind of compensation. Hence the penalty signaled for Farul from the VAR room. The correct decision would have been to let the game continue. Unfortunately, Chivulete also put Feșnic in a situation… That he called him to review the phase, and there is a contact… And I understand Feșnic. When you are called by the VAR to see the phase, it is difficult to hold your own. It has to be something very obvious for you to keep your original decision. When called upon to review a phase, referees usually tend to go for the VAR. And here, the VAR signaled a possible penalty that Feșnic gave. Unfortunately, erroneously.

Why are we unable to reduce refereeing errors with technology?

I think this matter belongs to the Central Commission of Referees. There, there is a head of VAR at the Romanian Football Federation. We are talking about Alexandru Deaconu. He should call our referees and do some more training sessions with them. But, as far as I understand, he is not in charge of this matter, although his position, I repeat, is the head of the VAR. And then, if there is no collaboration between the head of the Commission (no – the Greek Kyros Vassaras) and the head of VAR, situations like this arise and we all wonder how these mistakes happen.

Superliga 2023-2024, 24th stage


Botoșani – Poli Iasi 2-1

FC U Craiova 1948 – Dinamo 2-1


Petrol – CFR Cluj 1-2

Fast – Oțelul Galati 2-1


Cluj University – UTA 1-3

Sepsis – University of Craiova 1-3


Volunteers – Hermannstadt 1-1

FCSB – Farul Constanta 1-1


1. FCSB 24 15 6 3 46-21 51

2. CFR Cluj 24 12 6 6 43-24 42

3. Fast 24 11 9 4 42-27 42

4. University of Craiova 24 10 7 7 35-29 37

5. Constanta Lighthouse 24 10 7 7 34-33 37

6. Sepsis 24 9 6 9 35-30 33

7. Hermannstadt 24 7 12 5 31-26 33

8. Cluj University 24 8 8 8 31-36 32

9. Oil 24 6 13 5 24-24 31

10. FC U Craiova 1948 24 9 3 12 38-39 30

11. UTA 24 7 9 8 28-34 30

12. Galati Steel 24 5 13 6 24-25 28

13. Volunteers 24 6 8 10 29-40 26

14. Poli Iasi 24 6 8 10 27-39 26

15. Botoșani 24 3 9 12 23-42 18

16. Dynamo 24 4 4 16 15-36 16

*Places 1-6 enter the play-off (round-trip, 10 stages in total).

*Places 7-16 will continue in the play-out (single leg, 9 stages in total).

*The 1st place in the play-off participates in the Champions League, and the 2nd and 3rd place in the play-off, in the Europa Conference League.

*The 3rd place in the play-off will play a play-off with the winner of the play-off between the 1st and 2nd places in the play-out for a place in the Europa Conference League.

*The 9th and 10th places in the play-out are directly relegated. The relegable places 7/8 in the play-out play a play-off with the places 3/4 in League 2.