SPORTS

Gekas quits national team

Striker Fanis Gekas announced yesterday his departure from the national team, citing problems on the squad. The shock decision by the top scorer across Europe in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers could be followed by a similar choice by goalkeeper Alexandros Tzorvas, according to press reports. «After some long thought, I have decided to stop playing for the national team, due to certain unique conditions within the squad and which I have made known to those responsible for the team,» Gekas wrote in his blog on www.in.gr. «I want to wish Greece and my teammates success and thank everyone I have cooperated with,» he added. Media reports had suggested he is upset with some people close to new national team manager Fernando Santos, who allegedly advised the Portuguese coach against fielding the Greek striker in all games. Unconfirmed reports had Gekas saying before the games with Georgia and Croatia that «unless I get to start both games, I will quit the national team.» He started in the match with Georgia, but was only used as a second-half substitute in Croatia. He therefore becomes the third Greek international to quit the team within the last few months, after Yiannis Amanatidis and Sotiris Kyrgiakos. Reports in Thursday’s press suggested that Tzorvas is also considering leaving the national team, as he is said to have had a personality conflict with another player on the squad. He is also said to be disappointed at losing his place to Aris’s Michalis Sifakis in the three games played under coach Santos.