Soccer-Greece still without a coach after Schuster deal collapses

By Graham Wood

ATHENS, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Bernd Schuster will not be taking over as Greece coach after a verbally agreed deal fell through, the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) announced on Wednesday.

The well-travelled 55-year-old German, who has coached Real Madrid and most recently Malaga, was set to succeed Uruguayan Sergio Markarian and lead Greece's 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign but the deal fell through over a last-minute hitch.

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"EPO announced that it has restarted its search for a coach of the national team after a change of attitude from Mr Schuster relating to a verbal agreement with the federation," said a brief EPO statement.

"Mr. Schuster was asked a while ago to sign a preliminary agreement on the terms that had been clarified in detail and fully agreed. However, on his own initiative and without any prior notice he demanded to change them.

"These new requirements suddenly asked by Mr Schuster were not accepted by EPO and (president] Mr (Giorgos) Gkirtzikis has been authorised by the members of the Executive Committee to continue negotiations with other prospective coaches."

Local media said the dispute was over Schuster's assistant, with the German reportedly not wanting current caretaker Kostas Tsanas, who coaches the under-21 side.

Former national team coach Markarian and director of football Giorgos Karagounis were shown the door on Aug. 7.

Markarian took over in February from Italian Claudio Ranieri who was sacked following a woeful start to Euro 2016 qualifying, which included a humiliating home defeat by the Faroe Islands.

Greece suffered a second loss to the Faroes in June that left them bottom of Group F with no hope of making the finals. (Editing by Ken Ferris)

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