Markarian resigns from Greece coaching post

Uruguay's Sergio Markarian resigns as coach of the Greek national team after a series of defeats (AFP Photo/Attila Kisbenedek)

Athens (AFP) - Uruguayan Sergio Markarian announced Tuesday he is quitting his job as coach of the Greek national team after just five months in charge.

"I came to Greece for the national team at a critical moment. I apologise to the Greek fans because the results in our struggles were not good," Markarian said in a statement.

The 70-year-old Markarian could not manage to garner a win for the Greeks in the three matches he oversaw, with goalless draws against Hungary and in a friendly with Poland flanking a shock 2-1 defeat in the Faroe Islands.

Greece are rooted to the bottom of Euro 2016 qualifying Group F with just two points from six matches, their prospects of reaching next year's finals in France already having gone up in smoke.

"I thank God for the opportunity I was given. I did my work from day one with great love for the work I do. I want to thank the players, the fans, the federation and my colleagues as well as the media for the respect they showed me," Markarian added.

A spokesman for the Greek Football Federation said that its president Giorgos Girtzikis will meet with Markarian on Wednesday in order find out the reasons for the coach's decision.

Indeed, Girtzikis said Tuesday in an interview with radio station Sport FM that he would not accept Markarian's resignation.

"I continue to believe in him and trust him," Girtzikis said.

Markarian had agreed a one-year contract worth a reported 350,000 euros (£245,000, $382,000) to return to Greece after previous spells at club level in charge of Iraklis (2004-2005), Panathinaikos (2002-2004) and Ionikos (1998-1999).

At international level he has also coached Peru and Paraguay.