SPORTS

Name lost in merger

Greek soccer club Halkidona said yesterday it plans to merge with second-division team Atromitos – losing its name and yellow shirts in the process. Both teams are based in western Athens, in the neighboring boroughs of Nikaia and Peristeri. Atromitos’s sudden promotion to the first division delighted fans who chanted «We’re back, we’re back!» on the streets of Peristeri, one of Greece’s largest municipalities. The club was facing financial difficulties and had been doomed to relegation to the third division. Halkidona coach George Paraschos will lead the new team, which will be made up of mostly Halkidona players in Atromitos’s blue-and-white striped shirts. Halkidona Chairman George Spanos said he felt no «guilt» over the merger. «I’m not promising titles but you can be sure Atromitos will be a team that will make you walk around with your head held high… If we are united, we fear nobody,» Spanos said. Atromitos, founded in 1923, finished second-to-last in the second division this year. Halkidona, founded in 1930, was eighth in the 16-team first division, while playing its home games at Ionikos Nikaia’s stadium. (AP)