Football

Turkey to terminate coach Kuntz’s contract after he criticised players

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Turkey’s football federation decided to terminate coach Stefan Kuntz’s contract after the German manager criticised his players following the national team’s friendly loss to Japan last week, the Demiroren News Agency (DHA) said on Sunday.

After the 4-2 defeat to Japan on Tuesday, Kuntz responded to fans’ calls for his resignation by saying his players needed to work harder and that he should not take all the blame.

Kuntz had said his players needed to respond to criticism on the field, not “in post-match interviews”, adding he was upset his players were not putting on their best performance.

DHA said Kuntz’s comments had soured relations with Turkey’s Football Federation (TFF), which on Sunday informed him to part ways. It reported Kuntz’s contract, set to end after the Euro 2024 tournament, would be annulled.

There was no official statement from the TFF on the issue at the weekend. DHA said the federation would announce the move on Tuesday.

Kuntz, a former Germany striker who also played for Turkish club Besiktas, was appointed in September 2021 after leading the German Under-21 team to the European title in 2017 and 2021. He has won 12 of his 20 matches since taking charge, drawn three, and lost five.

DHA said Kuntz’s assistant, Kenan Kocak, may manage the team at their Euro 2024 qualifier against Croatia on Oct. 12. It said the TFF could bring former coach Abdullah Avci back for another stint or sign former Germany manager Joachim Loew.

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