Do not get surprised if you see a Turkish striker wearing goal keeper gloves in the next match! Uefa dismissed Turkey's appeal to call up replacements for the injury and suspension ridden squad, a cruel blow to the Turkish hopes of reaching the final of Euro 2008.
UEFA announced that they will not allow Turkey to call up any replacements for the injured or suspended players. Turkish coach Fatih Terim might be forced to send third choice goal keeper Tolgan Zengin as a centre forward or a last man in defence. Turkey have only 13 outfield players for Wednesday's semifinal against Germany in Basel, Nihat Kahveci being the latest to be ruled out of the tournament with a thigh injury.
Terim has his best players sidelined due to injury and suspensions. The list includes Emre Belozoglu, Emre Gungor, Servet Cetin and Tumer Mertin injured and ruled out and Tuncay Sanli, Arda Turan and Emre Asik suspended. Kahvehci, Turan, Sanli and Asik had been key players of Turkish success and fight back in the tournament. The unavailability of these players is a hard blow to Turkish hopes. In addition to this, goalkeeper Volkan Demirel has to serve one match ban, though Turkey has appealed against it.
The Uefa rule states that no team can replace players after the first game has been played. Uefa spokesman William Gallard confirmed this, saying,"We know some teams are facing difficulties, but this is a hard rule of the tournament. We have no intention of changing the tournament rules."
The only good news Turkey has, is the return of defensive midfielder Mehmet Aurelio after a one-match ban, and if the ban against Demirel is lifted, the goal keeper count will go by one plus. Terim stated that he might be forced to send third choice goal keeper Zengin as a striker.
"He could come on towards the end as a sub as a last man in defence or a centre forward."