Turkey striker Unal to miss Malta qualifier

September 1, 2006

ISTANBUL, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Turkey striker Gokhan Unal will miss Wednesday's Euro 2008 qualifier against Malta in Frankfurt through injury.

The Kayserispor forward has been forced out with a muscle strain, said the Turkish Football Federation.

But the 22-man squad includes Brazilian midfielder Mehmet Aurelio, who has recently acquired Turkish citizenship.

The squad flew to Germany on Friday for the first of three home matches Fatih Terim's men will play behind closed doors on neutral territory.

World soccer's governing body FIFA handed out the punishment after Turkey's players were involved in a brawl in the World Cup qualifying playoff second leg against Switzerland in Istanbul last November.

The matches covered by the ban, which also includes the Euro qualifiers against Moldova on Oct. 11 and Norway on March 28, must be played behind closed doors in a UEFA-affiliated country at least 500-km from the Turkish border.

'Although this is a big disadvantage it will be a major boost if we get nine points in the first three games,' said coach Terim.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Rustu Recber (Fenerbahce), Volkan Demirel (Fenerbahce), Ozden Ongun (Konyaspor)

Defenders: Can Arat (Fenerbahce), Tolga Seyhan (Galatasaray), Orhan Ak (Galatasaray), Gokhan Zan (Besiktas), Ibrahim Toraman (Besiktas), Ergun Penbe (Galatasaray)

Midfielders: Mehmet Aurelio (Fenerbahce), Tumer Metin (Fenerbahce), Arda Turan (Galatasaray), Hamit Altintop (Schalke 04), Mehmet Topuz (Kayserispor), Huseyin Cimsir (Trabzonspor), Yildiray Basturk (Hertha Berlin), Nuri Sahin (Borussia Dortmund)

Forwards: Tuncay Sanli (Fenerbahce), Hakan Sukur (Galatasaray), Nihat Kahveci (Villarreal), Fatih Tekke (Zenit St Petersburg), Halil Altintop (Schalke 04)