Ex-Tottenham star Gica Popescu jailed for three years the day before he was to become Romanian FA president

Former Tottenham midfielder and Romanian international star Gica Popescu has been sentenced to jail for three years and one month for tax evasion and money laundering.

The news of Popescu’s sentence has shocked Romanian football, specifically because the former White Hart Lane favourite was set to become Romanian FA president on Wednesday.

According to the AP, Popescu was one of eight Romanian football officials sentenced on Tuesday in connection with dodgy deals in relation to the transfer of 12 players.

All the 12 transfers involved the movement of players from Dinamo Bucharest, Rapid Bucharest, Otelul Galati and Gloria Bistrita to foreign clubs from 1999-2005.

The AP add “prosecutors said the state lost 1.7 million euros ($2.34 million) in taxes and the clubs lost 10 million euros ($13.8 million) because the officials registered false sums for the transfers.”

All sentences issued by the Bucharest Court of Appeal are final, and thus cannot be appealled.

The other parties who have been sentenced to jail are George Copos, Mihai Stoica, Cristi Borcea, Jean Pădureanu, Ioan Becali, Victor Becali and Gheorghe Nețoiu.

Aside from playing for Tottenham in 1994-1995, Gica Popescu played for PSV, Barcelona and Galatasataray, as well as scoring 16 goals in 115 appearances for the Romanian national team.