BUCHAREST, ROMANIA (AFP) - Former Romania football great and Barcelona captain Gheorghe Popescu was jailed for over three years on Tuesday for his part in a corruption scandal that shook Romanian football.
The 45-year-old - capped 115 times and a member of the side that reached the 1994 World Cup quarter-finals - was one of several high-profile football figures to receive what are the heaviest sentences handed down in the country for corruption in football.
Popescu, who won the 1997 Cup Winners' Cup with Barcelona and league titles in Romania, Turkey and the Netherlands and was Romanian Player of the Year five times, was taken from the court and imprisoned in a Bucharest prison according to police sources.
He and his fellow accused were found guilty of not declaring the whole amount of transfers of 12 players from their respective clubs to foreign teams from 1999-2005.
They were all acquitted in their first trial before being tried again where Popescu received a three-year suspended sentence in November 2012, but the case was heard for a third time.