Steaua sack Bergodi after changing room spat

Topics

* Flamboyant owner angered by changing room snub

* Ex-Kuwait and Steaua coach Stoichita replaces Italian

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BUCHAREST, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Steaua Bucharest owner Gigi Becali has fired coach Cristiano Bergodi after the pair were involved in a changing room confrontation during the side's opening Europa League Group H match on Thursday.

The Romanian tycoon dismissed the Italian coach after Bergodi had demanded the owner return to his seat when he attempted to give the players a pep talk before the second half of the 0-0 draw against Moldovan side Sheriff Tiraspol.

"I've never been to the locker room in my life," European Parliament Member Becali was quoted as saying by sports daily Gazeta Sporturilor on Friday.

"I wanted to give boys a signal to wake up but Bergodi humiliated me. It's over, Bergodi is no longer Steaua coach."

Bergodi, who was only appointed in June, has been replaced by former Steaua and Kuwait national team coach Mihai Stoichita.

A flamboyant former shepherd, Becali is one of the most popular figures in Romania because of his reputation for straight talking and charitable donations.

However, the 51-year-old spent two weeks in detention in April for illegally holding three people against their will because he suspected them of stealing one of his cars. (Reporting by Radu Marinas; Editing by John O'Brien)