Referee right to dismiss Volkan, Terim says

June 16, 2008

GENEVA, June 16 (Reuters) - Ref Peter Frojdfeldt was right to send off Volkan Demirel after the Turkey keeper clashed with Jan Koller in the final minutes of their thrilling Euro 2008 Group A defeat of Czech Republic, his coach Fatih Terim said.

Turkey looked finished after 62 minutes when the Czechs took a 2-0 lead at the Stade de Geneve but mounted a stunning comeback to score three late goals and clinch a place in Friday's quarter-final against Group B winners Croatia.

Swede Frojdfeldt dismissed Volkan in the second minute of injury time after the keeper pushed Koller in the chest in an off-ball incident and the towering striker fell to the ground.

'There were only minutes left until the end so I didn't approve of what he did at all,' Turkey coach Terim said at a news conference after the match.

'I don't know exactly what happened but I know what he did wasn't right,' he said. 'The referee was correct to send him off.'

As well as losing Volkan, Terim's options for the Croatia game in Vienna are limited by the absence of central midfielder Mehmet Aurelio through suspension and injuries to several players.

Central defender Emre Gungor was carried off on a stretcher in the second half with what looked like an ankle injury after Turkey had already lost Gokhan Zan, also a centre-back, in the defeat to Portugal in their opening match.

'There's nothing to do,' Terim said. 'We have players who are suspended and players who are injured but we have lions who can replace them.

'We are confident in ourselves and getting better with each passing day,' he added.

The former AC Milan and Fiorentina coach said he never lost hope during Sunday's match and experience had shown him anything could happen in the closing stages.

'In my own career I never thought of giving up and I am the kind of person who never loses hope,' he said.

'I am very pleased to have a team that never gives up either, a team that believes the match isn't over until the referee blows the final whistle,' he added.

'I have seen many things happen in the final minutes, sometimes to our advantage and sometimes to our disadvantage and that's the beauty of the game we call football.'