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The Greek football federation (EPO) have given their backing to coach national team Otto Rehhagel on the eve of their Euro 2004 qualifier with Armenia in Athens.

‘There is no issue over Rehhagel,’ said EPO chief Vassilis Gagatsis.

Greece have begun their qualifying campaign for EURO 2004 in unconvincing fashion, losing their opening matches at home to Spain and away to Ukraine, to lie rooted to the bottom of what promises to be a tough group.

‘There is no excuse for them (the players),’ said after Greece’s defeat to Ukraine at the weekend. ‘Every time we try to think of something to say but now there’s nothing.’

‘In the end it may just be the standard of Greek football,’ Gagatsis added.

Rehhagel, the former Bayern Munich coach, was appointed with two matches remaining in Greece’s World Cupp qualifying campaign.

He attracted much credit for his side’s battling 2-2 draw away to England in their final qualifier but the EURO 2004 qaulifiers have begun ominously for Rehhagel and a further disappointing result against Armenia tomorrow, and the pressure on the coach to quit, is sure intensify.

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