Lucescu named new Romania coach

BUCHAREST - Romania appointed Razvan Lucescu as national team coach on Wednesday, replacing Victor Piturca whose contract was mutually terminated after poor results in 2010 World Cup qualifiers.

"The board unanimously validated Razvan Lucescu as coach," the head of Romania's football federation Mircea Sandu told a news conference.

"Contractual issues with Victor Piturca have ended," he said.

The federation announced earlier this month they were negotiating a mutual termination of Piturca's contract.

Romania have lost their last two matches in Group Seven against Serbia and Austria and lie fifth in a group also containing France, Lithuania and Faroe Islands. They are eight points behind group leaders Serbia.

Lucescu, 40, a former goalkeeper, coached Rapid Bucharest for three years, winning two Romanian Cups and reaching the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup.

In 2007, he opted to move down a division to coach FC Brasov despite receiving offers from clubs in Turkey, Italy and Ukraine, and helped the club return to the top flight.

Local media said Lucescu's father, Mircea, who has led Shakhtar Donetsk to UEFA cup semi-finals this year, was the first to receive an offer to replace Piturca, which he turned down.