Turkey, Sports

Erdogan hints 2019 for foreign player quota in Turkey

Many foreign football players are under contract until end of 2018/2019 season, says Turkish president

Erdogan hints 2019 for foreign player quota in Turkey

By Satuk Bugra Kutlugun


President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said any amendment into quota regulations for foreign football players in Turkey's Super Lig should be carried out after 2018-19 season.

During a televised interview on Turkish TV channel NTV Spor Sunday evening, Erdogan was asked about the current quota regulations in the league that allows Turkish clubs to list as many as 14 foreign players for the game.

"Many foreign players are under contract until the end of 2019 season. We cannot speculate about that," Erdogan said. "The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) needs to settle this issue with clubs after 2019."

The current system allows Turkish clubs to start matches with 11 foreign players on the pitch.

Erdogan said he was "not against foreign players, as those players have lots of things to contribute to Turkish football".

"A player has to get prepared for national team by playing more minutes in their clubs," Erdogan said. "The more he gets minutes, the more chance he will have to be called up to Turkish squad."

The issue has been a hot topic since the beginning of the 2017 summer transfer window, as it was mostly criticized by pundits, saying that the national team will have a hard time finding active players.

Turkish clubs in the Super Lig can list a total of 21 players in each league match-- seven of them must be Turkish players.

Turkey's Manager Mircea Lucescu also highlighted the issue several times after he took the helm in August 2017.

Lucescu, in an interview with Italy's La Gazetta Dello Sport newspaper published on Nov. 5, said: "With the federation, we will limit the league to foreigners.

The manager also said young players like Cengiz Under, Enes Unal and Emre Mor chose to play abroad but they got limited time to play in the matches.

"Guys like Cengiz, Emre Mor and Enes Unal go abroad too soon and then they do not play. How can I call them if they do not play?," he said.

Before the Turkey-Romania friendly match on Nov. 9, Lucescu held a press meeting and answered journalists' questions. When asked about the foreign players issue in Turkey, Lucescu said no league in Europe plays with as many foreign players as Turkey.

Turkey failed to reach the World Cup 2018 that will be held in Russia next June.

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