Chivu slams biased referees

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Cristian Chivu is ready to make a protest in defence of the Romanian national team, as he claims they are being victimised by referees.

The Roma defender believes Romania's prospects of reaching the Euro 2004 finals have been blighted by a string of poor decisions by officials.

Romania require a miracle to attain the play-off place in their qualifying group and Chivu is bitterly upset at the team's impending failure to advance to the tournament in Portugal.

Chivu is adamant the team are being picked on because Romania are not regarded as one of the traditional powers in European football.

The gifted centre half is ready to stage his own protest by wearing a shirt emblazoned with 'Who cares about Romania?' in the near future.

The former Ajax ace insists referees are responsible for Romania's doomed Euro 2004 campaign but is confident Anghel Iordanescu can lead the team to the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

"The referees are always, or nearly always, against us, particularly in the big games," Chivu told Romanian newspaper Gazeta Sporturilor.

"It is so cruel to say that all you want is a correct referee but this is the truth.

"Because of the fact that Romania are not an economic power, nobody intends to defend us but this is against the sport and if Uefa really have the intention to defend football, they have to be careful.

"We have so many good players and probably, because of the referees, we cannot show this at Euro 2004. I'm sure that with Iordanescu on the bench, we can make it to the 2006 World Cup."