Olympiakos fires Lemonis

Olympiakos club owner Socrates Kokkalis suddenly fired coach Takis Lemonis yesterday, replacing him with assistant Yiannis Kollias. «Olympiakos announces it has terminated its contract with coach Takis Lemonis, whom it thanks for his contribution to the team. At present, it is appointing to the coach’s position its employee Yiannis Kollias, for many years the coach of the national under-21 team,» said the club in a statement released last night. According to sources, Lemonis learned he would be fired only a few hours beforehand, from Olympiakos Vice President Giorgos Louvaris. It is not known precisely what prompted the firing of Lemonis, although certain sources said Kokkalis was disappointed with yet another mediocre showing in Europe. Olympiakos has won six Greek League championships in a row, the last two under Lemonis, but it has failed, with one exception when it reached the quarterfinals, to make a respectable showing at the Champions League, the most prestigious European soccer club competition.