The last 10 days have been a nightmare for the Greek National Team and the Hellenic Football Federation. Important events took place before and after the defeats from Faroe Islands (0-1, Euro 2016 Qualifiers) and Serbia (0-2, friendly). The crisis in Greek soccer has climaxed and everyone is affected.
The assault to Christoforos Zografos
Prior to the home match against Faroe Islands, the vice president of refereeing committee (KED, Greek acronyms) Christoforos Zografos was assaulted outside his home. The incident took place last Thursday. He has been hospitalized since then with head and arm injuries. It was the third assault against a member KED in the last two years. The Hellenic Football Federation (E.P.O. Greek acronyms) decided to cancel all domestic competitions (professional and amateur), as KED refuses to appoint referees until the situation is addressed. They want to see the two men who attacked Zografos brought to justice and be assured incidents like this will not happen ever again.
The defeats from Faroe Islands and Serbia
It was no secret Greece was not looking very well in Euro 2016 Qualifiers. When the favorite for the first place in the group, starts with two home defeats and an away draw something is obviously wrong. The new defeat from Faroe Islands (0-1, third in a row) came to verify the poor morale of our team as a whole. My personal opinion is that everyone is to be held responsible when the boat (or Pirate Ship) if you prefer is sinking. Not just the coach, but the players as well. You do not have to be an expert to understand that Greece is no longer a TEAM.
The second defeat in the friendly match against Serbia (0-2) meant nothing but it proved Ranieri was not the only problem. The overall performance of our players and behaviors like the one of Kone against Matic and Maniatis (he wanted to punch his opponent and pushed off his teammate when he got in the way) depict how poor the morale is.
The next day
Following the defeat from Faroe Islands, the chairman of EPO, Mr. Sarris, took full responsibility for choosing Ranieri for our bench and promised not to repeat the same mistake. Kostas Tsanas (coach of the U20 team) was a temporary replacement for the international friendly against Serbia and EPO is still in search of the right man to stop the negative streak. It would not be an exaggeration to say that everything this team has built over the last decade was ruined in four matches.
At the same time there has not been any official announcement regarding the refusal of KED to appoint referees. Both Super League and Football League announced the exact dates and kickoff times for Days 11 and 6 respectively but they cannot proceed without referees. Earlier this morning, the vice president of EPO, Mr. Vourvahis stated no action will be held next weekend because the problems are not solved. Later this afternoon, most major sports websites spread rumors that EPO is beginning to reconsider as there are too many parties and interests involved (sponsors, TV rights etc.).