The draw for the fifth round of the Cupa României appears to have been kind to Snagov, with the Liga 2 team being drawn against FC U Craiova 1948 who currently seventh in Liga 3. It is at this stage of the competition that the Liga 1 clubs join the fray, and Snagov faced the possibility of being drawn against any of the top Romanian sides. Although this could have resulted in a glamour tie, Snagov will surely be happy at a home game against a team in a lower division. The match has been scheduled for September 25th.
Who are FC U Craiova 1948?
As I mentioned in a previous blog, it seems fairly common for football clubs in Romania to be dissolved and resurrected following bankruptcy. FC U Craiova are no exception to this.
Craiova is the sixth largest city in Romania with a population of roughly 300,000. The city's biggest football club is U Craiova 1948 Club Sportiv, which is not to be confused with Snagov's upcoming opponents. U Craiova 1948 Club Sportiv, commonly known as CS U Craiova, are the current Cupa României holders.
The relationship between the two Craiova clubs, at least to the outsider, appears rather confusing.
From what I can tell, the recent history is, as follows:
In 2011, CS Universitatea Craiova was excluded from the Romanian league following a legal dispute with a former coach. In 2013, the local government in Craiova formed a new club which would claim ownership of the history of CS Universitatea Craiova. The new club was called U Craiova 1948 Club Sportiv (CS U Craiova as mentioned before). This new club was legally granted the history of the previous Craiova club, with the exception of the 1993 Cupa României win.
At the same time CS U Craiova were being created, another club in Craiova was formed; FC U Craiova 1948, who Snagov are due to play next week.
The two Craiova clubs briefly competed in the same division, but their fortunes could not have been more different. CS U Craiova were promoted to Liga 1 and went on to claim the Cupa României last season. FC U Craiova, however, were relegated to Liga 3 and later went out of business. In 2017, the club was reformed and began life in the fourth tier of the Romanian League which is contested at County level. In their first season, FC U Craiova 1948 won promotion to Liga 3.
So why do both clubs in Craiova have the year 1948 as part of their name? Well, it's because there was a another club in Craiova that was dissolved in 1949. Wait, 1949? Yes, 1949. I am talking about the club AS Doji.
Who are AS Doji?
AS Doji started life as FC Craiova Football Club, which was founded in 1940 following the merging of Craiu Craiovan Craiova and Rovine Griviţa Craiova. In the 1946/1947 season, FC Craiova were relegated to the second tier of Romanian football. Shortly after, they changed their name to AS Doji before dropping another division and subsequently being disbanded.
Another tie in the Cupa României that caught my eye was the fixture between Snagov's promotion rivals Academica Clinceni and FC Hermannstadt who are last season's runners-up for the Cupa României.
Here is the draw in full.
It's fascinating to look at the history of these clubs in Romania. I hope I have understood the facts correctly. I would welcome any feedback, comments or corrections on the article.
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