Cluj clash abandoned after players brawl

A mass brawl forced the abandonment of a crucial Romanian league derby late on Tuesday, at an embarrassing time as the country prepares to host the Europa League final.

League leaders CFR Cluj had notched a first-half penalty to take the lead when Mircea Bornescu, goalkeeper for local rivals Universitatea Cluj, ran after the scorer Cadu as he celebrated and pushed him to the ground.

That started a fight between players of both teams and Bornescu and Cadu were both sent off. CFR's coach Ioan Andone refused to allow his players back on to the pitch because of concerns for their safety.

CFR may now be awarded a 3-0 win for the abandonment, which would edge them closer to the league title.

"It was normal that the match did not continue and we receive a 3-0 win because we did not have assurances of safety on the way to the changing room," CFR president Iuliu Muresan said.

Romanian football is beset by eccentric club presidents, crowd violence and financial difficulties and was hoping to enjoy a brief respite from the unhappy routine when it stages the final between Spanish sides Athletic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

CFR are three points ahead of Vaslui at the top of the table with four games remaining, going for their third title in five seasons, with the big Bucharest sides Steaua, Dinamo and Rapid trailing.