SPORTS

Cisse adamant about leaving

Djibril Cisse is standing firm on his decision to leave Greece this summer after the violence at the derby with Olympiakos, according to statements by the Panathinaikos superstar in a French television interview on February 27.

Cisse also took the opportunity to attack Olympiakos president Vangelis Marinakis, whom he has also sued, and to praise Panathinaikos?s fans.

Titled ”The Reasons of a Departure,” the report on TF1 channel had Cisse stressing that he does not want to relive his experience at the Karaiskaki Stadium, when dozens of home fans attacked the Panathinaikos players after the final whistle.

“As soon as the referee ended the game, many fans stormed the pitch and started hitting me and swearing at me. That, for me, is the end. I do not want to go through that again,” said the Super League’s top scorer.

“The president of Olympiakos is also the president of the Super League. Such behavior does not become a man of his position, but he probably does not care,” he added, referring to Marinakis?s controversial behavior after the derby.

“At this moment, my decision has not changed. I cannot play under such conditions. I will see what offers I will get and then we will see what happens,” stated Cisse, giving a ray of hope to Panathinaikos supporters who have been begging him to change his mind and stay on for one more year at least. He has a contract until the summer of 2013.

“Panathinaikos fans are fantastic. I adore them. They are constantly by the team’s side and I cherish playing for them. What they did at the match against Atromitos was special,” said the French international striker, in reference to the largely peaceful demonstration of some 35,000 fans at the Olympic Stadium, who gave the Greens a champion?s welcome on February 26.

Meanwhile, reports on February 28 suggested that Panathinaikos has decided to propose a long-term deal to manager Jesualdo Ferreira. The Portuguese manager has earned the officials’ respect with his work in the three months he has been at the club and is likely to get a contract up to 2013.

Ferreira stated after the game with Atromitos that he is feeling great at Panathinaikos and sees no reason to go.