In preparation for their friendly match with Spain on Sunday night, Romania’s players have swapped their normal squad numbers for maths problems in a bid to help their country’s children with their education.
The idea for the new numbers, printed on the back of training tops, will be supported by a video at the Cluj Arena explaining the initiative, which is designed to combat Romanian children dropping out of school – as of 2014 the rate is 18%, one of the worst records in the European Union.
“Football and mathematics are not mutually exclusive,” said the Romanian Football Federation president, Razvan Burleanu. “We must look at sports and education as not only complementary but fundamental elements integrated in the training and perfection of children. We want to have healthy generation and smart students who achieve performance and tools through tailored passions. Through this project, children will learn the basics of football and have an opportunity for the first time in our country – to discover mathematics through an attractive approach.”
Romania host Spain off the back of a 1-0 win over Lithuania on Wednesday. Having finished second in their Euro 2016 qualifying group behind Northern Ireland, they will play France in the opening match of the tournament on 10 June before going on to face Switzerland and Albania in the group stage.
This article was written by Guardian sport, for theguardian.com on Sunday 27th March 2016 16.53 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010