Superbet, the giant Romanian bookmaker and online casino brand, parted ways with Daniel Pancu following a controversial interview where the latter engaged in a series of troubling comments. Former Rapid Bucuresti and Besiktas forward Daniel Pancu has seen himself in plenty of trouble over the past few days following an interview with Fanatik where the ex-footballer engaged in a series of troubling comments regarding religion and politics. Mr. Pancu is considered an iconic footballer among Romanian fans and has also represented Romania, having 27 appearances and scoring nine goals for the national team.

Superbet ceased collaboration with Daniel Pancu as brand ambassador after the ex-footballer’s controversial interview with Fanatik

The ex-footballer previously played for numerous clubs, including Terek Grozny (currently known as FC Akhmat Grozny), a club from the Chechnya territory of Russia. During the interview with Fanatik, Daniel Pancu went about multiple topics that also tackled sensitive discussions over how women can easily get killed for not obeying and praising Ramzan Akhmadovich Kadyrov, who is currently serving as Head of the Republic in Chechnya. Kadyrov is a controversial politician currently involved in the Ukrainian-Russian war crisis having previous encounters with Daniel Pancu during the footballer’s period at Terek.

Pancu stated, “Kadyrov has impressed me. He is a born leader, skilled and experienced fighter”. Furthermore, the ex-international also expressed his views regarding the treatment women get in the Islam country and how “over there you can easily kill women”. It is worth mentioning that Mr. Pancu added that he doesn’t necessarily agree with this, yet he pointed out how he respects the fact that traditions are still kept there. Following the interview, Superbet has released a statement announcing the immediate termination of the media agreement between the parties. The article posted in Superbet’s news area on 6th March stated the following:

“Following the recent public statements that do not match our brand’s values and views, as of today, 5 March 2022, effective immediatly, we are terminating any collaboration and association with Daniel Pancu.

We firmly condemn any statement, be it ignorantly or bad-willingly made and not accounting for the drama and suffering experienced by the Ukrainian population. Furthermore, we firmly disagree with the way Daniel Pancu understands and refers to the Chechnyan traditions by associating them with acts of violence against women.

Any campaign featuring our ex-ambassador are to be immediately removed. However, there might be delays until these actions take effect due to technical reasons. Yet, our media partners have assured us that they will put effort into this so that everything will resolve shortly.

Team Superbet is founded on fundamental values incompatible with hate or violence of any kind. Daniel Pancu’s statements constitute a significant drift against the said values.”

Daniel Pancu / Photo: Digi Sport

Pancu released an official statement apologizing and reassuring that his views were misinterpreted

After Superbet announced the immediate termination of the partnership, Daniel Pancu went on Digi Sport TV the following Sunday saying that his statement was taken out of context and was in no way intended to come out as shockingly as it turned out. Using social media as a channel to communicate an official statement, Mr. Pancu posted on his Instagram account the following message:

“As a result of public information following my interview with a news website, I wish to mention the following:

I am totally against war and any act of violence against humans. I strongly condemn these acts of cruelty as I have always done. I also wish to mention that my views on Ramzan Kadirov came strictly from my perspective as a football player. My statement strictly referred to Ramzan Kadirov’s behavior with the football players, his financial aid, and support for the team both as owner and die-hard fan.

The controversial information pulled out of that interview referred to the country’s culture. I haven’t expressed personal comments, only pointed out historical facts. Once again, I wish to point out that I condemn any act of violence.

The respect shown to Ramzan Kadirov is strictly professional and reflects my relationship as a football player for a club he owned. Once again, it would be a lack of professionalism not to show respect to him based on our interactions while at the club.

It was an unfortunate incident due to faulty context and premature declarations. I would also like to apologize to all women for my communication error, and I assure them that they have all my respect. After all, I am a son, husband, father. My wife helps refugee families while my parents are about to host and aid a family with four children.”

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