SPORTS

Karembeu wanted by French club

French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain is interested in signing Olympiakos star player Christian Karembeu, according to a French soccer website, Football 365. Karembeu, a member of France’s World Cup-winning team in 1998, who has impressed by displaying leadership qualities with Olympiakos this season, both in European and domestic competition, has been the subject of transfer interest in the past. Until now, Karembeu has expressed no desire to abandon the Piraeus club. Olympiakos, front runner of the Greek league and winner of the past seven league titles, yesterday began its preparations for this weekend’s clash against second-placed rival Panathinaikos, two points behind, following the return of internationals from their commitments in Portugal. The defending champion’s Ukrainian coach, Oleg Protasov, told his players that the upcoming encounter would be more difficult than last year’s end-of-season triumph over Panathinaikos that clinched the league title for Olympiakos. Saturday’s game, at Olympiakos’s home ground, is crucial for the visitor’s title chances. A loss would put Panathinaikos five points behind the front runner. Some pundits say the result could affect the future of the club’s Israeli coach, Itzhak Shum.