Football in Moldova

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Football in Moldova
Sheriff Shadium.jpg
Home stadium of club Sheriff Tiraspol
Country Moldova
Governing body Moldovan Football Federation
National team(s) men's national team
National competitions
Club competitions
International competitions

After gaining its independence from the USSR in 1992, Moldova became a member of FIFA in 1994. Football is the most popular sport in Moldova.[1]

In qualification for Euro 2004, Moldova beat Austria 1-0 and Belarus 2-1, but lost to the Netherlands 1-2.

In qualification for the World Cup in 2006, the best results were winning against Belarus 2-0 and two home draws against Scotland and Norway. They drew 2-2 against Bosnia and Herzegovina at home but surprisingly won 1-0 in the away game in the qualification for Euro 2008. In the same qualification, they beat Hungary 3-0 and also made a 1-1 draw against Turkey. In World Cup qualification for 2014, Moldova beat Montenegro on the latter's home ground by 5-2; a game that is regarded by many Moldovan supporters as the greatest football game played by the Moldovan national team.


Although the Republic of Moldova officially became an independent state only in 1991, football in Basarabia has been practiced for more than a century. The date of the first football match at Chisinau is August 22 1910.[2] On the plateau of the Chisinau Gymnasium boys, the game between the gymnastics and lyceums team in Chisinau was played with that of the Gymnasium no. 2 from Odessa. The score was 22-0 in favor of the sent guests.[3]

Romanian Championship, interwar period

On September 23 1923, under the direction of Gh. I. Dimitriu, in Chisinau appeared the periodical "Sport. Sports and Literary Journal ".[4]

In the 1920s, many of Bessarabia's sports news appeared in the comedy "Comedy", dedicated to performing arts and sports. This was due to a local correspondent, P. Crihan, who sometimes signed with the nickname Rex-Ball. As a football referee, he also presented the chronicles of the parties he attends. Also P. Crihan tried to popularize, through an article published in the magazine "School", the scouting movement, combining pre-boy training with cultural excursions and sports games

Starting with 1924, the Bessarabian teams were present in the Romania Championship. On October 5, five teams from Chisinau launched the regional competition: "Mihai Viteazul Chișinău", "Unitas", "Sporting", "Maccabi" and " Romanian Railways Regiment renamed in a few months in " Fulgerul", which became the first winner.[5]

Subsequently, the team participated in higher phases, and in the 1925-1926 edition it reached the semifinals of the Romanian championship. At that time, Flash players included foreign players: Mihai Tänzer and Adalbert Ströck. Mihai Viteazul, as opposed to " Fulgerul" was one of the authentic Bessarabian teams. Appeared in 1920, in 1924 she was already the best and most beloved team in the region. With the "Vâlcov Tripleta", made up of the brothers Colea (1909-1970), Petea (1910-1942) and Volodea (1916-1952) , Mihai Viteazul actually represented Bessarabia in the Romanian championship, which was then organized in cup system and not league. After a match played in Chişinău against the famous team Venus Bucharest, the Vâlcov brothers were transferred to Bucharest. Then Petea died on the front, Volodea died of tuberculosis, and Colea became a coach, even leading the Romania national football team.[6]

Four times the Bessarabian clubs managed to be among the best four Romanian teams: in 1925 and 1926 - by "Fulgerul", and in the years 1928 and 1930 through "Mihai Viteazul" team.

Later, the Bessarabian teams were part of the league of Romania's eastern league with the Bucovina (1930-1932), and then the divisional system of the championship came into force. Gradually, new teams appeared, including "Mihai Viteazul Tighina", "Maccabi Balti", "Traian Tighina" and others. Many Bessarabian players evolved at that time for the Bucharest and Romanian teams. As was the case with the Vâlcov brothers from Bolgrad - Petea, Volodea and Colea - the emblematic footballers of the interwar period of Romania.

At the end of the 1930s, at Ripensia Timisoara another talented Bessarabian, Nicolae Simatoc, who in his glory period was to play at Inter Milan between 1947-1949 (17 matches, 3 goals) at Brescia Calcio 1949-1950 (30 matches, 8 goals) and FC Barcelona between 1950-1952 (34 matches, 2 goals ).[7][8]

With Barcelona, he was to win the title of champion of Spain in 1952, two Cups of Spain in 1951 and 1952.[9]

Soviet period

In 1940, the Moldavian Cup was played with the participation of the representatives of the cities Chişinău, Balti, Orhei, Bender, Cahul and Călăraşi. The final was played between Chisinau and Cahul (Russian soldiers stationed there), being won by Chisinau 5-0. The match was kicked back because of the contest and was again won by the team of Chisinau with the same score of 5-0. In 1945, Chisinau, represented by Dinamo, won the Championship and Moldovan Cup. Some sources date back to 1940, thanks to Arcadie Hofman, but official appearance in Soviet football is recorded on May 16, 1947. In 1946, Spartak Chişinău is established, which is admitted to the Ukrainian championship, the southern area, the third group of values. After 1950, Dinamo Chişinău was to be renamed Burevestnik, Moldova, Avînt, Nistru and finally Zimbru Chişinău. The team had participated in various USSR Championship value divisions, including the Soviet Top League, where he played between 1956-1964 (9 consecutive years) in 1974 and 1983. The highest ranking in the rankings was the 6th place , in 1956. In USSR Cup best performance was the admission to the quarterfinals in 1963.

Until independence, teams from six cities represented the republic in the former Soviet Union championship, some changing names: Chişinău (Burevestnik, Moldova, Avvent, Nistru, Zimbru - Upper League, First League and Second League), Tiraspol (Pişcevik, Luceafărul, Dnestr, Zvezda, Start, Automobilistul, Tekstilşcik, Tiras, Tiligul - Second League, First League), Bender (Lokomotiv, Pişcevik, Tighina - Liga a Doua) (Zarea - Second League), Drochia (Hope - League Two). The Moldavian Championship was then a low value competition.

Independence. A new beginning

The Dissolution of the Soviet Union and the USSR Championship have captured the two Moldovan teams from the First League in different circumstances: Zimbru Chişinău was to be relegated to the Second League , and Tiligul-Tiras Tiraspol qualified in the Soviet First League. None, not another - has not happened. The Moldovan Championship started the next year).

The first edition of the Moldavian Football Championship, 1992 Moldovan National Division was played in a complicated social-political context - the country was at war, Chisinau and Tiraspol were fighting on the front , and the teams on both sides of the Nistru river faced the championship. There were cases when the players crossed the river, under bullets, to go to the matches. Taking into account the value of the lot prepared for the Superior League of the USSR Championship, the favorites of the competition were the Tiraspolians, Zimbru being complemented only by young players from own nursery.

Tiligul and Zimbru ended both with 35 points on the active, and according to the rules there was a "golden match" decisive for the first place, but Zimbru won the competition on the grounds of not presenting the opponent in the match. Thus, Zimbru became the winner of the inaugural edition of the Moldavian Championship. He also won the first five consecutive seasons and eight of the first nine seasons of the Moldova Championship, being interrupted by the Constructorul Chişinău in 1996-1997 season. Starting with 2000-2001 season, a hegemony of the Sheriff Tiraspol club can be found, which between 2000 and 2014 became 13 times champion of Moldova, including 10 times the series being interrupted only by Dacia Chişinău in season 2010-2011, this being the only title of Dacia. In 2014-2015 season Milsami Orhei won for the first time Championship title of Moldova, this being the first case when a team from another the city of Chisinau and Tiraspol won the title in the Republic of Moldova.[10]

Starting with the 1993-94 season, the Moldavian football clubs started to participate in the inter-club competitions. "Window" in Europe was opened by Zimbru Chişinău, in the UEFA Cup, double by Beitar Jerusalem, generally lost after 1-1 home and 0-2 away. For Zimbru he has been the ex-vice president of FMF, Radu Rebeja, this being the first goal of any Moldovan team in European competitions. Season 1995/96 Zimbru has reached the UEFA Cup final sixteenth UEFA Cup, and 1999/2000 and 2000/2001 has reached the third round of Champions League Champions League. These were the best performances of Moldovan clubs in Europe by the end of 2000 when Sheriff Tiraspol reached three times in the UEFA Europa League groups, realizing this in the 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2013-14 seasons.

Scandals and controversies

In November 2007, a Rapid Ghidighici 1-0 Rapid Ghidighici, Rapid owner, Victor Ostap attacked referee Veaceslav Banari accusing him of how he arbitrated the match. After that, Ostap withdrew his team from the championship, afterwards following penalties received from FMF, to disband the club.[11]

Also in the second half of the 2000s, several Moldovan football voices began to say that clubs FC Tiraspol and Sheriff Tiraspol rip their direct matches between them, acting by mutual agreement and that they would actually be driven back by a single person. The accusations became intense in the early years of 2010.

Thus, on April 8, 2013, Olimpia Bălţi, owner of the club, Sergei Chiseliov, declared that the match FC Tiraspol 2-1 Sheriff Tiraspol, which took place two days earlier[12][13]

In a week, businessman Marin Livădaru, who was also the financier of the FC Iskra-Stal team, came up with a series of evidence in support of the allegations, trying to unmask the "Tiraspol cooperative." [14][15][16]

A few days later, the football club Dacia Chişinău, in an official communique to the FMF, declared that he was in favor of starting an investigation into the two clubs. [17] On May 18, 2013, the soccer media portal "" conducted an own investigation, proving that FC Sheriff and FC Tiraspol clubs are financed and run by the same person, Victor Guşan (FC Sheriff's official patron)

In a week, businessman Marin Livădaru, who was also the financier of the FC Iskra-Stal team, came up with a series of evidence to support the accusations, trying to demolish the "Tiraspol cooperative."[18][15][16] A few days later, the football club Dacia Chişinău, in an official communique to the FMF, declared that he was in the process of launching an investigation into the two [17] on May 18, 2013, the soccer media portal "" conducted an own investigation, proving that FC Sheriff and FC Tiraspol clubs are financed and run by the same person, Victor Guşan (FC Sheriff's official patron)[19][20] and that he / she arranges the results of direct matches behind the scenes[21][19]

Livadar went further, complaining to UEFA and FIFA against the two clubs and more than half a year ago received a response from them that this is an internal problem to be solved in Moldova.[22][23]

The scandal of the Tiraspol clubs was amplified by a parallel case - the creation of the Professional Football League in Moldova, which was to take over from FMF the tasks of organizing the national championship. The idea emerged in 2011 and was supported by a group of 6 teams from the National Division, namely Zimbru, Dacia, FC Milsami Milsami, Olimpia Băl ţi Olimpia, Rapid Ghidighici, and Costuleni Costuleni. At the other pole were the Sheriff and FC Tiraspol clubs who stood vehemently.[24] Four other clubs did not have the League, and the Federation, in the absence of a consensus, avoided getting involved and making a decision, thus putting the situation in a standstill, although UEFA welcomed the idea of creating LPF.[25]

On March 17, 2014, after the football match Sheriff - FC Tiraspol, also finished with 1-2 score, Dacia Chişinău club president, Adlan Şişhanov, sent an open letter to the president FMF, Pavel Ciobanu saying the match was "arranged", which was also shared by several football experts.[26][27][28][29] Following this referral, FMF decided to set up a suspicious match analysis committee.

At the end of November 2014, the club FC Costuleni withdrew from the Championship Division after 12 games played.[30][31]

On December 4, 2014, the club's verdict Veris Chişinău decided to withdraw the team from the Moldavian Championship, saying it was dissatisfied with the arbitrage in a recent match with Sheriff Tiraspol in Moldovan Cup lost with 0-1. [32] At the time of the retirement the team is on the first position in 2014-2015.[33][34]

In the first days of December 2014, after a defeat in front of Dacia Chişinău, there was talk of the withdrawal of the club Zimbru Chişinău from the championship;[35] Team Oleg Kubarev and a number of key players left the team, but the team continued their championship.

On September 2, 2015, the Committee of Arbitrators of the Moldavian Football Federation suspended Serghei Derenov from his artistic activity for life, after he committed several serious mistakes during the sixth round of 2015-2016 season between Zimbru and Sheriff. The Committee of Arbitrators recommended to the FMF Executive Committee to terminate the contract with Derenov, to exclude him from the list of FMF referees and to request his withdrawal from the list of FIFA judges, the most severe punishment given to a Moldovan referee.[36][37]

League system




Moldovan National Division
10 clubs

↓↑ 1 club


Moldovan "A" Division
12 clubs

↓↑ 3 clubs


Moldovan "B" Division
27 clubs divided in 3 series, one of 10 clubs, one of 9 clubs and one of 8 clubs

The national team

Moldova national football team is starting to play in a friendly game played on July 2 1991 in Chisinau against Georgia. The match was lost with the score of 2-4, on the technical bench then the selection was Ion Caras.[38] For our team they scored Alexandru Spiridon and Gheorghe Harea,[39] Spiridon being recorded as the author of the first goal of the selected Moldova

The first official match of the Republic of Moldova was also a match with Georgia, played on September 7, 1994, at Tbilisi UEFA, counting for the Euro 1996 preliminaries. The match was won with the score of 0-1, the scorer of the single goal being Igor Oprea.[40][41]

Although the national results of Moldova over time are rather mediocre, sporadically the team also scored some good individual results, among which can be mentioned the match on June 7, 2003, when Moldova managed a 1-0 victory in the match with Austria, in the preliminaries Euro 2004; then there were two victories over 2: 1 in 2003 and 2-0 in 2005. On November 17, 2007, Moldova won a 3-0 victory over Hungary in Chisinau. The match counts for 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification. After that match, a series of insignificant results followed to a 4-1 victory in front of Armenia in a friendly game played in 2009 at Erevan.

In 2010, Moldova's results continue to be mediocre. Still at the end of 2012 Moldova drew 0-0 with Ukraine[42] and in June 2013 1-1 with Poland[43] both matches played in Chişinău. In October 2013 tricolor crushes Montenegro 5-2.[44] with this ending 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, finishing last in the group where it was placed in the penultimate place in the group.


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  2. ^ UNIMEDIA. "Federaţia Moldovenească de Fotbal a serbat centenarul fotbalului moldovenesc şi 20 ani de activitate". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  3. ^ "VIP Magazin - Revista Oamenilor Celebri". 23 February 2016. 
  4. ^ "Sportul în Basarabia interbelică sau povestea unei integrări eşuate". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  5. ^ "Fotbalul: o istorie a începuturilor (II)". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  6. ^ "sportul basarabean - Fotbalul Romantic". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  7. ^ Chișinău: Cartdidact, 2013, 211 p. ISBN 978-9975-4462-1-1
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  9. ^ ȘTIRILE, PUBLIKA.MD - AICI SUNT (9 August 2010). "Nicolae Simatoc este unul dintre jucătorii care a rămas în istoria fotbalului moldovenesc". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
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  11. ^ "". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  12. ^ "Match info". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  13. ^ "Serghei Chiseliov zguduie din nou fotbalul moldovenesc: Meciul FC Tiraspol - Sheriff a fost aranjat". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  14. ^ "FC Sheriff şi FC Tiraspol fac blaturi. Cofinanţatorul Iskra-Stal, Marin Livădaru, acuză Federaţia de Fotbal că ar gira acest proces". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  15. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  16. ^ a b "Главное о молдавском футболе. И не только". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  17. ^ a b [2][dead link]
  18. ^ "FC Sheriff şi FC Tiraspol fac blaturi". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  19. ^ a b fotbalmd (16 May 2013). "Вне закона: у клубов "Шериф" и "Тирасполь" один владелец?". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  20. ^ [3][dead link]
  21. ^ [4][dead link]
  22. ^ [5][dead link]
  23. ^ "Marin Livadaru a denuntat echipele Sheriff si FC Tiraspol la FIFA si UEFA. Ce il nemultumeste". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  24. ^ [6][dead link]
  25. ^ ȘTIRILE, PUBLIKA.MD - AICI SUNT (21 June 2013). "UEFA ar fi spus DA! "Conducătorii cluburilor de fotbal din Moldova au undă verde pentru crearea Ligii Profesioniste"". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
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  27. ^ "6 semne că îi ies dinţişorii!". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  28. ^ [8][dead link]
  29. ^ [9][dead link]
  30. ^ [10][dead link]
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  32. ^ [12][dead link]
  33. ^ ȘTIRILE, PUBLIKA.MD - AICI SUNT (5 December 2014). "Decizie neaşteptată: Veris Chişinău s-a retras din Campionatul Moldovei". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
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  35. ^ ȘTIRILE, PUBLIKA.MD - AICI SUNT (7 December 2014). "Veste şoc în fotbal! Zimbru se retrage din Campionatul Moldovei". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  36. ^ "Pedeapsa MAXIMA pentru greselile facute de Serghei Derenov in derby-ul dintre Zimbru si Sheriff: Arbitrul a fost suspendat pe VIATA prin decizia FMF - VIDEO". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  37. ^ ȘTIRILE, PUBLIKA.MD - AICI SUNT (2 September 2015). "Serghei Derenov, SUSPENDAT PE VIAŢĂ din activitatea de arbitru. Care este motivul". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  38. ^ [14][dead link]
  39. ^ "Moldova national football team lost to Georgia 2:4, 2 July 1991". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  40. ^ "UEFA EURO 1996 - History - Georgia-Moldova –". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  41. ^ "Georgia national football team lost to Moldova 0:1, 7 September 1994". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  42. ^ "2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ - Matches - Moldova-Ukraine -". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  43. ^ "2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ - Matches - Moldova-Poland -". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 
  44. ^ "2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™: Montenegro-Moldova - Report -". Retrieved 12 September 2018. 


  • Fotbalul în contextul transformărilor democratice din Europa de Est”, Cazul Ucrainei, României și Republicii Moldova, Boris Boguș, Octavian Țîcu, ed. Cartdidact, Chișinău, 2008, ISBN 978-9975-940-77-1
  • Ion Robu, „Recordmenii fotbalului moldovenesc”, Tipografia Centrală, Chișinău, 2010 - 232 pag., ISBN 9975788777, 9789975788779
  • 100 de ani ai fotbalului moldovenesc” Serghei Doneț, Valentin Iacovlev ; coord. : Serghei Donets ; au colab. : Victor Daghi, Boris Harcenko, Natalia Donets [et al] ; fotogr. : Boris Harcenko [et al]. – Chișinău : S.n., 2010. – 576 p.
  • Anuarul fotbalului moldovenesc”. Edițiile 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2011-2012, Victor Daghi, Elan Poligraf, Chișinău

External links

  • Official site of the Moldovan Football Federation
  • Football teams in Moldova
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