Hiddink to pack bags

Hiddink to pack bags

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Hiddink to pack bags

Guus Hiddink, one of the most experienced and successful coaches in the game, failed to deliver the goods during his one-year spell with the Turkish national football team. AA photo

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) and Guus Hiddink have agreed to the termination of the Dutch coach’s contract with the national team, Turkish media reported yesterday.

The Dutchman’s position as the Turkish national football team coach has been highly questioned during his one-year spell, but the criticism reached a new high after the team suffered a heavy 3-0 rout at home against Croatia in the first leg of the Euro 2012 qualifiers on Nov. 11.

Yesterday, CNN Türk reported that the TFF would not even wait for the result of the second leg and agreed with the Dutchman on the termination of the contract.

Turkey was staging a desperate bid to overcome a three-goal deficit against Croatia yesterday. The game was still in progress as the Hürriyet Daily News went to press.

It was believed that the Dutchman would be fired if he failed to lead Turkey to the 2012 European Football Championship, which will be hosted by Poland and Ukraine.

Since the 3-0 defeat, Turkish media have even been naming names without waiting for the second-leg clash.

Istanbul BB coach Abdullah Avcı is believed to be the frontrunner as Hiddink’s successor, while Ertuğrul Sağlam, who led Bursaspor to its first-ever league title last year, was also proposed. Trabzonspor gaffer Şenol Güneş, who was the mastermind in Turkey’s third-place success in the 2002 World Cup, is another candidate.

The Turkish media has been lashing out at Hiddink for a long time. His salary was never officially announced but is believed to be around 8 million euros a year, a figure many believed was too high.

The high salary could lead to high compensation for termination of his contract, it was said.

“Those who call on the TFF to sack Hiddink are not aware of the fact that the federation is in dire straits,” Mehmet Aslan, daily Hürriyet’s sports editor, wrote in his column on Nov. 13. “If Hiddink is fired without consent, the TFF will go under a huge financial burden, according to Hiddink’s contract. The amount is 25 million euros.”

However, TFF vice chairman Lütfü Arıboğan denied that the compensation was that big.

“There is no extra compensation. We are contracted with Guus Hiddink until July 2012,” he announced on Nov. 14.

CNN Türk yesterday reported that the TFF and Hiddink agreed he would be let go after being paid the salary until the determined end to the contract.

Hiddink, who is one of the most successful coaches in the game, has had many prolific spells with football’s emerging forces in the last decade.

He led South Korea to the 2002 World Cup semifinals, coached Australia to the second round of the 2006 World Cup and was at the helm when Russia advanced to the Euro 2008 semifinals.

However, his performance at Turkey, where he was brought in after Fatih Terim, failed to lead the team to the 2010 World Cup, was not as shiny. Finishing the qualifying Group A behind mighty Germany, Turkey lost five of 15 matches with Hiddink at the helm.