Ousted PAOK soccer coach set to take on job at Cyprus

Former PAOK coach Angelos Anastasiadis is expected to take over as coach of Cyprus’s national team after being approached by the country’s soccer federation. Anastasiadis, who reportedly has already agreed to accept the offer for a three-year contract, is scheduled to meet with federation officials next Wednesday to discuss certain final details. A statement released by the Cypriot soccer federation yesterday noted that Anastasiadis would meet with officials in Cyprus for «face-to-face discussions on certain pending issues regarding the deal’s finalization with KOP [the federation].» The statement added that the move was aimed at «renewing the effort to improve the national team.» In its qualifying campaign for the World Cup finals in 2006, Cyprus made a poor start with one draw and lost four losses in its group. The Cypriot national team has yet to make impact on international soccer but several of its players have cemented their places at major leading Greek clubs. They include Michalis Constantinou of Panathinaikos and Yiannakis Okkas of Olympiakos. Prior to the federation’s announcement, Anastasiadis, a colorful character, had been considered the favorite to take over Cyprus’s coaching job. He had played with several clubs, including PAOK, Panathinaikos and Korinthos and represented Greece on 12 occasions before moving on to coaching. He launched his coaching career with Asteras Amaliadas, and has also served with Panathinaikos, PAOK and Iraklis, as well as several smaller clubs. Meanwhile, his former club, PAOK, which ousted Anastasiadis earlier this season, has sacked several players, some of which were believed to be closely affiliated with the club’s former coach. Following up on the recent sackings of Dimitris Markos and Leonidas Vokolos, the club yesterday ended the contracts of two more players, Ilias Atmatsidis and Giorgos Koutsis.