Sergio Markarián has tendered his his resignation as Greece coach barely five months after taking the job, with his side smarting following a 2-1 Group F defeat in the Faroe Islands.
"I ask Greek fans for their forgiveness, because our results were not ones we wanted," said the 70-year-old Uruguayan in an official statement. "Now I am taking a difficult decision. I am ending my collaboration with the national team of Greece. I thank the players, the fans, the Greek federation, my assistants and the media for their respect towards me."
The Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) have yet to formally confirm the former Panathinaikos coach's departure, with reports suggesting president Giorgos Girtzikis may yet persuade Markarián to stay on. He was hired on 12 February to replace Claudio Ranieri, who had led Greece to a draw and three defeats - including a 1-0 at home against the Faroese - in their opening Group F games.
Greece players will get a a lengthy holiday in the summer of 2016. For the first time in the last decade they will not be present in the final stage of a major tournament. In the aftermath of a second defeat by Faroe Islands in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying, the Greek press is ironic and unforgiving this Sunday morning:
"Go to Mykonos!" is the headline of GoalNews: "The national team got humiliated for a second time by the smart amateurs of Faroe Islands. Almost all players looked unconcerned – only [Sotoris] Ninis and [Sokratis[ Papastathopoulos made an effort."
SportDay opted for the headline "Go fish!", adding: "There is no ending to the debacle of Greek football."
As for LiveSport, they write: "Grexit and humiliation," explaining: "Greece became the laughing stock of world football with their second loss to Faroe Islands. It can't get any worse. They were tragic in their last effort to remain in contention for a ticket to the France finals and made their opponents look like [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi."
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