The coach of the Greek football team is hailing the decision to bail his team out as an “historic moment”.
Intense negotiations between Greece and UEFA officials over the last two days have resulted in an announcement that Greece will be the recipient of a bailout package.
Greece’s need for external help became all the more apparent after a 2-1 loss against the Czech Republic in their last game. Experts fear that without further help from the football community the team will crash out of Euro 2012 without a win.
UEFA President Michel Platini said today that Greece’s bailout package would be put in place in time for the team’s match against Russia this weekend.
“We will give the Greek team a one goal head start,” said Mr Platini.
“We very much hope that further goals won’t need to be credited to Greece, but we are prepared to look at the possibility of giving Greece another goal after half-time.”
Fernando Santos, the coach of the Greek team, said he was delighted with the package.
“This is just what we need to get our team back on track. With a bit of help from the international community, we may still see Greece reliving its glory days of 2004, when we won the trophy.”
However, some critics within the Greek team say the bailout will not be enough to get the team back on its feet, after a draw against Poland and the loss to the Czech Republic.
“Goals are all very grand, but what we really needed from UEFA were points,” said Captain Giorgios Karagounis.
“With only one point from two games we’re at the bottom of the group, and our chances of moving to the next round are remote, even if we beat Russia.”
Other football experts have criticised the draconian bailout conditions imposed on the Greek team by UEFA.
The bailout conditions require the Greek team to implement across-the-board austerity measures. These measures include cutting the number of players in the squad down to just three. One of the three players must be a former Greek international from the 1980s era selected by the Russian team, while the other two must be blindfolded throughout the game.
But Greek coach Fernando Santos has dismissed the attacks on the bailout package.
“Without this package we have no hope of progressing any further,” said Mr Santos.
“With this package in place we still have no hope, but at least we will have some goals on the scorecard to cheer about.”