SPORTS

Sollied expected quicker end

Norwegian coach Trond Sollied, who was fired by Olympiakos soccer club last week as a result of the Greek club’s latest failure in Europe, was quoted by the Norwegian press as saying that he expected a quicker dismissal. «I expected to be fired after the game against Shakhtar Donetsk when we were knocked out of European competition; that’s when I expected this development, not now,» Sollied was quoted as saying by the Norwegian newspaper Dagsavisen last weekend in his first public remarks since last Friday’s departure from Olympiakos. «But there were five important games to go before Christmas, so maybe that’s why I didn’t go sooner,» added the 47-year-old, who had eight months remaining on his two-year contract when fired. Sollied was hired by Olympiakos at the beginning of last season with the main task of bolstering the Greek club’s standing in Europe. Olympiakos was ousted from this season’s Champions League in the first stage of group play. A win at home in its final game against Ukrainian team Shakhtar Donetsk would have provided Olympiakos with third place in Group D and a consolation spot in the less prestigious UEFA Cup’s next round of play. But Olympiakos was held to a 1-1 draw, hurling the Greek team out of both European club-level competitions. Sollied was the latest in a series of revolving-door sackings at Olympiakos. There have been over 40 coaching hirings at the ambitious club since 1980. Sollied’s future prospects appear undetermined. Norwegian media have been reporting that he will return to Rosenborg, the Norwegian club he led to a league title in the late 1990s. Reports are also citing Belgian club Brugge, where Sollied enjoyed a very successful six-year tenure ahead of his move to Olympiakos, last year’s league-and-cup champion and the front-runner this season. Sollied’s next move will influence his compensation package from Olympiakos, which, according to the latest reports, is estimated at -1.1 million. In other news at the club, aging Brazilian star Rivaldo has apparently told club boss Socrates Kokkalis that he is contemplating an extra season at Olympiakos if his fitness allows him and the squad is bolstered for European club-level play’s higher standards.