According to Turkish media, Germany’s under-21 coach Stefan Koontz will lead Turkey in the World Cup qualifiers against Norway.
The Turkish Football Association sacked Senol Gunes last week after the team lost 6-1 to the Netherlands in last week’s Norwegian World Cup qualifier.
Private news agency DHA and other Turkish media reported on Tuesday that the association had agreed in principle with Koontz. The 58-year-old German was seen on his way to Istanbul Airport after a meeting with Turkish football directors regarding contract negotiations.
– Yes, there is interest and contact, Koontz told the German newspaper Bild, but according to the newspaper, an agreement has not yet been reached.
Turkey hosts Norway for their next World Cup qualifier on October 8th. The team dropped with Amsterdam losing from first to third in Group G, two points behind the Netherlands and Norway.
The football-crazed nation had hoped that 69-year-old Gunes, who led Turkey to bronze in the World Cup in 2002, would take the team to new heights after becoming national team manager again in 2019. With a mix of veterans and promising players Turkey reached the finals of the European Championship, but lost all group matches and scored only one goal.
Turkey started the World Cup qualifiers brilliantly in March with a 4-2 against the Netherlands and 3-0 against Norway, but has since given up points against both Latvia and Montenegro. The team still led the group until the humiliating loss to the Netherlands.
Koontz was previously mentioned as succeeding Joachim Loew as Germany’s manager, but that job went to Hans Flick. Löw praised Kuntz for his excellent work with the German U21 national team.
Koontz was involved in winning the European Championship for Germany in 1996, when he scored against England in the semi-finals at Wembley in a 1-1 match and in a penalty shootout. At that time, he played for the Turkish club Besiktas.
As a coach, he led Germany to the best European Under-21 Championships in 2017 and again this summer. The team was a finalist in the losing final of 2019.
He scored nine goals during his time with Besiktas in Istanbul in the 1995-96 season.
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