In a bid to draw more attention to the high drop-out rate in the country (18% in 2014, one of the highest in Europe), Romanian players wore mathematical equations on their training jerseys ahead of their friendly against Spain on the weekend.
The equations when solved came to the player’s actual number. The federation provided a manual online to help fans solve the problems.
“Football and mathematics are not mutually exclusive,” Romanian Football Federation president, Razvan Burleanu, said in a statement explaining the numbers. “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.”
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The players traded in their equation numbers for their standard player numbers for their 0-0 draw with Spain at Cluj Arena. Romania face France in the opening game of Euro 2016 on June 10. They then will play Switzerland and Albania with eye on advancing to the elimination round.