NEWS

Football boss lambasts ‘4th rate’ Greek team

In a scathing attack on the national football team, the head of Greece’s soccer federation yesterday dismissed the squad that lost 2-0 to Ukraine on Saturday as «a fourth-class neighborhood team.» The Kiev defeat – at the hands of a squad missing key players – was the Greek team’s second loss in as many 2004 European Cup qualifying games. Hellenic Soccer Federation Chairman Vassilis Gagatsis told state ERA Sport radio that he was «furious, bitter and sad» at the result. But he stressed that Greece’s German coach, Otto Rehhagel, should not be blamed for the team’s poor showing. «The players are exclusively responsible,» he said. «In Ukraine, the team showed that it could have won. And that’s what infuriates me most. After the goal we let in, we turned into a fourth-class neighborhood team.» Tomorrow, Greece plays lowly Armenia in Athens in its third qualifying game.