Thursday, January 19, 2006
Turkey coach resigns after federation vote
ISTANBUL, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Fatih Terim offered his resignation as Turkey coach on Thursday after the country's football federation re-elected Haluk Ulusoy as chairman, CNN Turk said on its website.Terim began his second spell as Turkey coach last June after a nine-year gap but failed to steer the side to this year's World Cup finals.'I am resigning to give the new administration, chosen because of the changes in the Turkish Football Federation's management, freedom in its decisions,' the website quoted Terim as telling the Dogan News Agency.'I will unilaterally annul my contract although it is a five-year deal. Of course I respect whatever decision the new federation takes,' he said.The comments could not immediately be confirmed and nobody from the federation was available to indicate how it might respond to Terim's move.Terim previously coached Turkey, who reached the 2002 World Cup semi-finals, between 1993 and 1996 when he steered the side to the Euro 96 finals before resigning.Known as the 'emperor' in Turkey, he won the UEFA Cup with Galatasaray in 2000 when the club became the first Turkish team to clinch a European title.He helped Turkey win a place in the playoffs for this year's World Cup finals but they lost out to Switzerland in a tie which was marred by clashes between players from the two sides.Earlier on Thursday Turkey's sports minister challenged Ulusoy's re-election as federation chairman while allegations of irregularities persist around his previous term in office.Mehmet Ali Sahin threatened to call an extraordinary congress for the sake of 'clean football' depending on the result of a government investigation into the allegations.The federation elected Ulusoy on Thursday in a two-candidate election, returning him to a post he previously held between 1997-2004.'I did not want someone to be a candidate before they were cleared of what state prosecutors say is responsibility for harming the Turkish Football Federation through inappropriate financial relations,' Sahin was reported as telling parliament.'I will invite the football federation board to hold a congress if the prime minister's office inspectorate takes the view that there is a problem with Haluk Ulusoy's staying in his post,' state-run Anatolian news agency quoted him as saying.'I am obliged to do this for the sake of clean sport and a clean society,' he said.In response to the minister's threat to call another federation congress, the NTV television website reported Ulusoy as saying: 'There is no element of guilt in the board's reports which the minister has announced.'