Terim, Lucescu and be­yond

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Sports - ARDA ALAN I IK - IS­TAN­BUL

IN an­other weak dis­play, the reel­ing Turkish na­tional foot­ball team was eas­ily de­feated by Ro­ma­nia in an in­ter­na­tional friendly Thurs­day. Coach Mircea Lucescu’s team could nei­ther phys­i­cally nor men­tally stamp their au­thor­ity on the pitch. It was al­most like the game was only played be­cause Turkey had to play a game dur­ing the in­ter­na­tional break.

There were sim­ply no new ideas or ex­per­i­ments tried by Lucescu and it seemed that he has ac­cepted his fate as a failed coach.

Un­for­tu­nately, this is a not very un­fa­mil­iar sce­nario for Turkish fans. The na­tional team has not qual­i­fied for the World Cup since 2002 and there has not been any no­tice­able suc­cess ex­cept reach­ing the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship semi-fi­nals in 2008. So, the ques­tion is, as al­ways, what is the Turkish na­tional team go­ing to do now? Firstly, as I have men­tioned a num­ber of times in this col­umn, there is no ap­par­ent de­sire for long-term suc­cess among Turkish fans. Of course, the pub­lic is not happy with the demise of the na­tional team, but we are so short­sighted that even a con­so­la­tion vic­tory against Ro­ma­nia might have boosted our morale. Given the low ex­pec­ta­tion and short­sight­ed­ness, there has been no real ef­fort to build a strong na­tional from Turkey’s foot­ball au­thor­i­ties.

How­ever, this does not mean that fans do not want Turkey to suc­ceed, they do. But the prob­lem is that no one is will­ing to sac­ri­fice short-term gains and bear the pain of the de­vel­op­ment phase. We al­ways want to see the Turkish na­tional team win­ning, with­out ask­ing the ques­tion how it can be made pos­si­ble. And there­fore with very lit­tle pos­si­bil­ity of chang­ing the sta­tus quo and with­out sig­nif­i­cant pres­sure from the pub­lic, chang­ing the state of Turkey’s foot­ball is al­most im­pos­si­ble.

At this point, the real prob­lem is with the sports me­dia and the lan­guage of foot­ball. Even the most pop­u­lar foot­ball col­umns, tweets and TV shows in the coun­try fol­low a ma­cho, mas­cu­line cul­ture that uses ver­bally abu­sive ar­gu­ments; con­stantly poi­son­ing our con­cep­tion of foot­ball. I am not say­ing that these should be banned or pun­ished. Rather, we must look to chan­nel that en­ergy in a dif­fer­ent way, by cre­at­ing our own ex­am­ples and build a foot­ball com­mu­nity on prin­ci­ples like re­spect, fair-play and joy.

We can pur­sue this new idea of foot­ball in our next tweet, next TV show or the next col­umn. As Tol­stoy said, “Ev­ery­one thinks of chang­ing the world, but no one thinks of chang­ing him­self.” So, we must ac­tively pro­mote the kind of foot­ball we want to see.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Turkey

© PressReader. All rights reserved.