The Faroe Islands have never played in a World Cup or European Championship and have exactly one player who plies his professional trade outside of Scandinavia.
But the tiny Danish archipelago has not only defeated Greece for their first qualifying win since June 7, 2011, it’s also managed to get a team’s manager fired.
Saying “There was no other option” after the loss, Greece has parted ways with manager Claudio Ranieri after just four games.
Ranieri’s player selection had been met with much derision in the media, as he dropped Giorgio Samaras and Kostas Mitroglou for this round of qualifiers.
The devastating loss to the Faroes left former European champions Greece bottom of group F and facing an uphill struggle to qualify for the Euro 2016 finals in France.
The statement said that Ranieri’s departure as coach had been decided at a meeting with federation president Giorgos Sarris which had taken place “in a good climate.”
“There was no other option than to terminate the contract,” it added referring to the loss to the Faroes.
Regarding Ranieri’s compensation, although his contract called for the full amount (1.6 million euros for two years) to be paid in case of removal from his post, the two sides agreed “on a much lesser total,” the announcement said.
Greece made the 2014 World Cup’s Round of 16 under Fernando Santos before bowing out against Costa Rica in penalty kicks. They’ve lost three home qualifiers, with their lone point in group play so far coming on the road to Finland.
Hopefully the new Greek coach won’t choose to play a brand of soccer more akin to capturing the flag than sitting on it until the other team takes a nap.