Friday, May 18, 2007

Terim Wants Foreign Player Limit Lifted

The following article appeared in Friday's edition of "Today's Zaman." You can read the article, in its entirety, by visiting their website at:

Terim: Lift the foreign player limit with alacrity

Turkish national coach Fatih Terim, while attending a discussion panel held by the Turkish Sports Writers Association in Ankara, said he was in favor of the foreign player limit currently applied to Turkcell Super League clubs to be lifted.

Fatih Terim The 54-year-old Adana native noted that this was not a new idea and that he made the same suggestion to Turkish Futbol Federation (TFF) President Haluk Ulusoy last year. The seasoned coach asserted that as long as teams continue to be limited by the foreign player quota, they will try alternative methods. "I think that this limit should be lifted, but the clubs shouldn't exaggerate either. During our [Galatasaray] journey to the UEFA Cup championship [in 2000], we faced opposing teams which had 13 to 14 foreigners on their squads. It's important that this limit be lifted so as to create a healthy competitive environment. It's something that will be eradicated anyway when we join the EU," he stated.

Terim noted that in Turkish soccer coaches are always blamed for team failures, adding: "There has been a surge in Turkish coaches recently. The concept of foreigner and domestic, though, is something that needs to be overcome. We [Turkey] are now very important competitors in the international arena. Coaches make soccer a more interesting game and I plan to work abroad in the near future."

The former AC Milan coach, commenting on the national team's upcoming Euro 2008 qualifying Group C game against Bosnia-Herzegovina on June 6, reminded everyone that Bosnia was one of the strongest squads in the group. Stressing that they were taking this match very seriously, Terim added: "The Bosnians demonstrated how solid they were in their away game at Norway. It's a very critical challenge for us."

Terim stated categorically that he would continue to remain apart from politics, when asked to comment on the surge in the number sportspeople now involved in politics, adding that he doesn't want to be an "incompetent" deputy.

The former Adana Demirspor and Galatasaray player drew attention to the fact that Fenerbahçe Brazilian-born midfielder Marco "Mehmet" Aurelio was performing excellently with the national team. "We needed Marco on our team and we brought him aboard the national team. This doesn't mean that we have an open invitation to every player who is granted Turkish citizenship. I don't need any [naturalized] player other than Marco right now," he said.
The national team coach said in general he was very pleased with the standard of play in the Turkcell Super League and congratulated the Fenerbahçe Yellow Canaries for winning the 2006-07 championship. Terim, stressing the importance of Fenerbahçe coach Zico's coaching tactics and game plan, said: "Zico is a very successful coach. He found the right formula to win very important games during the tough battle at the top."


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