Romanian teams skip Turkey because of bird flu

January 13, 2006

BUCHAREST, Romania -- Five Romanian first division teams have cancelled plans to schedule their traditional winter training in Turkey at the last minute because of bird flu.

Three infected children died last week in eastern Turkey and 15 more people have tested positive for bird flu, but Turkish officials say their condition is not critical.

Authorities are testing whether a 4-year-old girl, who died on Friday, had caught the virus.

League leaders Dinamo Bucharest, CFR Cluj, Politehnica Timisoara, Rapid Bucharest and Vaslui switched their travel plans from Antalya to Cyprus, Italy and Greece while another four teams are looking for new locations to train.

"Of course I'm worried because I have two children at home," Rapid Bucharest midfielder Marius Maldarasanu told reporters.

The only team to go in Turkey is Gloria Bistrita.

"We go there but our players will not eat chicken," said Bistrita president Jean Padureanu.