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Watch: Petrescu blasts decision to hold Floriana tie at Centenary Stadium

CFR Cluj coach Dan Petrescu was unhappy with the choice of the Centenary Stadium as the venue for Wednesday’s Champions League first qualifying round tie during his pre-match press conference at the Centenary Hall.

The former Chelsea and Romania wingback said that he was not happy with the condition of the pitch at the Centenary Stadium and said that he couldn’t understand how UEFA could allow such European matches to be played on artificial surface.

Video: Matthew Mirabelli

“This is going to be a very difficult match for us,” Petrescu told the media.

“It think it’s a 50-50 match. We are playing against a team who have won the championship. We are playing against a synthetic pitch. I cannot understand while we are playing on a synthetic pitch but that is another question.

“I cannot understand the decision to play in this stadium when a few metres away you have stadium (National Stadium) where you can play on the grass where you can play football and then we have too many players injured and suspended.

“I know that Floriana have ten players who are not from Malta, they are either Brazilian, Italians and Argentinians, who are very good players. I know the team very well as I watched a lot of their matches.”

The Champions League tie against Floriana comes just a few weeks after CFR Cluj won a third successive Romanian championship.

Petrescu said that with the season only finishing at the end of July his team had little time to prepare for this tie, which makes their task even more difficult.

“For us, we only had five days off after winning the Romanian League championship, as it was a very difficult campaign for us,” Petrescu said.

“We didn’t have too much time to prepare for this match while Floriana stayed together for a lot of time and they played a number of friendlies and also they don’t have any missing players. For us, it will be very difficult as we have several regular players who are missing.

“Now I saw the condition of the pitch and it will be much more difficult and there are no favourites on this pitch and everyone can win.”

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