Thursday, July 2, 2009

Gica Popescu and Securitatea

By Editor

At the beginning of this week, the Romanian press has accused former international stars of the University Craiova football club, Gica Popescu and Rodion Camataru, that they were both collaborators and informers of the formidable
country's secret police 'Securitatea' during the 1980s. These details about the two players came out of an investigation done by Romanian journalists at the The National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives (CNSAS).

Gica Popescu was part of a Romanian side that qualified for three consecutive World Cups starting in 1990 and two European Championships. He also captained Barcelona to win the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1997. According to the press reports he has informed on his club mates, coaches and even administrative stuff of the University Craiova club starting on January 1st, 1986 when the player was only 19 years old.

Although there are no personal written comments in his Securitatea file, the 41-year-old Popescu said he once signed a document promising to "defend the national interests" during the regime of the late dictator Ceausescu. The former player, now a prominent businessman, organized a press conference to answer these accusations, "I signed a very general thing. My conscience isn't clear, it's very clear,". "I didn't inform on anyone." He also implied that these accusations are the work of interested parties who are hoping to derail his candidacy for president of the Romanian Federation of Football (FRF)." Is it a coincidence that now these ugly accusations have surfaced?" he asked while also mentioning his intention to legally challenge the reports and try to clear his name. Many former colleges have declared their support in his defense.

It is also worth mentioning that according to a BBC report of 2008, CNSAS rulings and evidence have been controversial to say the least, since the bulk of the archive was handed in to the CNSAS by the Romanian Intelligence Service - the successor of the Securitate - as late as 2006, 17 years after the fall of the communist regime, raising many questions over its authenticity and integrity.

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