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Chivadze departure sparks exodus

Published: Wednesday 2 April 2003, 15.06CET
Georgia coach Alexander Chivadze's decision to quit has precipitated the departure of several key players.
Published: Wednesday 2 April 2003, 15.06CET

Chivadze departure sparks exodus

Georgia coach Alexander Chivadze's decision to quit has precipitated the departure of several key players.

Alexander Chivadze will oversee Georgia's UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifier against Switzerland tonight before walking away from the post.

One night only
Chivadze and his assistants Murtaz Khurtsilava and Otar Gabelia were ready to quit following the 2-1 home defeat against the Republic of Ireland on Saturday, which left them bottom of Group 10. However, they agreed to stay on for today's match.

Jamarauli quits
It is not just the coach leaving, as midfield player Gocha Jamarauli has joined Temur Ketsbaia in announcing his retirement from international football, and Georgi Kinkladze may well follow suit.

'No matter the result'
"No matter what the result is against Switzerland, Alexandre Chivadze will resign," said Georgian Football Federation president Merab Jordania. "The whole coaching staff intended to resign immediately after the defeat by Ireland but because the next game against Switzerland followed in a few days they decided not to leave the team without a coach."

Future uncertain
Jordania added: "Right now we do not know who the next coach will be. The only sure thing is that our coach against Russia will be a temporary one." Georgia's next Group 10 game is against Russia on 30 April. Chivadze's decision brings an end to his second spell with the Georgian national team. He held the reins originally from 1993-96 before returning to the post in August 2001.

'Necessary' decision
Meanwhile, after Ketsbaia waved goodbye to international football after the Ireland match, the 31-year-old Jamarauli announced his decision last night. "I am leaving the national team because it is necessary," said the FC Metalurh Donetsk player as he left the training camp in Tblisi.

Kinkladze speculation
Derby County FC midfield player Georgi Kinkladze has also left the training camp citing a knee problem. However, rumours suggest that he also intends to quit the national team. FC Dinamo Tbilisi's attacking midfield player Vitali Daraselia has been brought in to plug the gap.

Arveladze link
It is still unclear whether Rangers FC forward Shota Arveladze is going to play. Although he has been training for three days after missing the Ireland match, Chivadze could keep him on the bench. Arveladze's brother, Revaz, who is coach of the Georgia Under-21 team, is a candidate to replace Chivadze.

Last updated: 02/04/03 20.50CET

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