SPORTS

Rehhagel calls up new faces for friendly

Greece coach Otto Rehhagel yesterday named a 22-man squad for the friendly home match against Hungary at Karaiskaki Stadium next Wednesday. Philippos Darlas of Panathinaikos and midfielder Panayiotis Lagos of Iraklis Salonica receive their first call-ups while Xanthi defender Paraskevas Antzas will make his first appearance in two years. Rehhagel did not call up four members of the Euro 2004 winning team, defender Traianos Dellas of AEK Athens, midfielder Giorgos Karagounis of Benfica, and strikers Angelos Haristeas of Ajax and Fiorentina’s Zisis Vryzas. A decision from Rehhagel about his future with the Greek national team is expected within the next few days, most likely following the November 16 friendly match against Hungary. The national soccer federation and the squad’s players have expressed strong support for Rehhagel to stay on, while polls have indicated that local public opinion is also strongly in favor of the German renewing his contract, which expires at the end of the year. Rehhagel has declined to comment. Shortly after leading Greece to its incredible Euro 2004 triumph, Rehhagel turned down an offer to coach host nation Germany at next summer’s World Cup finals, opting, instead, to try taking his European champions to the finals. Greece, which ended fourth in its qualifying group, failed to qualify. (AFP, Kathimerini)