Steaua Bucharest the team with no name

Romania’s most successful side in search of a new identity.

Romania’s most famous club Steaua Bucharest have been stripped of their name, colours and crest after losing a battle over their trademark with the country’s defence ministry.

For Sunday’s match against CSMS Iasi, the Romanian champions were known simply as ‘the hosts’.

The 1986 European Cup winners, who were founded in 1947 as an army side, had their registration cancelled by Romania’s highest court for copyright reasons.

The Înalta Curte de Casaţie şi Justiţie, Romania’s top-level court system, overturned a ruling from 2012 case where the Romanian army sued the Steaua Bucharest over their use and trademark of that club name and their badge. The local court ruled in favor of the club, but the ICCJ sided with the army, meaning that with immediate effect Steaua must cease cease to use the Steaua name.

Since they can no longer use their badge or branding, they’re wearing plain yellow kits instead of their traditional red-and-blue stripes.

The ‘Steaue’ name was removed from all training kits and officials’ suits. The two teams’ names were missing from the teamsheet.

The situation could change, but only if Steaua officials reach an agreement with the defence ministry for the use of the trademark. A hint of compromise is in the air, though, and the club has been given permission to use the name, colours and crest in this week’s Europa League tie against Dynamo Kiev.

Steaua’s controversial owner, Gigi Becali, and the club’s general manager, Mihai Stoica, are currently serving prison terms for abuse of power.