Turkey calls for Kazim-RichardsTuesday, 1 May 2007
by Yakir Mizrahifrom Istanbul
Sheffield United FC striker Colin Kazim-Richards could soon be turning out for Turkey after national coach Fatih Terim praised the 20-year-old Londoner.
Born in Walthamstow to an Antiguan father and a Turkish-Cypriot mother, the 20-year-old has played in 25 Premiership games this season, scoring once, and may now get the chance to impress for the Turkish national team after coach Terim indicated that he would get a call-up for the upcoming UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifier against Bosnia-Herzegovina on 2 June.
Kazim-Richards, who progressed up to the Premiership after spells with Bury FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC, made his debut for Turkey's Under-21 team on 24 March, scoring in a 2-1 friendly win against Switzerland. It was the culmination of a period of soul-searching for the player, who could theoretically have played for Antigua or England as well.
"It was my dream to play for both England and Turkey but you can't do that," he said. "When I started at Bury I said I did want to play for Turkey at one time, the simple fact being that you look at England and you ask yourself: 'Are you going to play consistently in internationals?' I have seen some players play a game and not feature again and then they can't play for anyone else."
Terim's side lead Group C after five games and are looking forward to being allowed to play their home matches in Turkey after serving the final leg of a three-match home ban for competitive internationals against Norway on 28 March. Following the qualifiers against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Malta, they will return home to take on Hungary on 12 September.
"We can play better in front of our supporters and grab more points and I hope we will end this group on top," said Terim. Asked about Turkey's expectations should they reach UEFA EURO 2008™, the coach replied: "Turkey finished third at the 2002 [FIFA] World Cup. Everybody wants to be in the final but it is not as easy as it looks. But don't worry - we will be the most interesting team in the tournament."
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