A new vision for Turkish football

ARDA ALAN IŞIK
ISTANBUL
Published

Last Sunday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan did a live interview with Ntvspor where he spoke about the latest in Turkish football. Although he did not express any harsh criticisms, it was obvious from his statements that he was not happy.

Honestly, it would not be a mistake to say that he echoed the feelings of the public, which is frustrated by the football situation. However, we all know that the Erdoğan is a former professional football player and a true football lover, and it is a great chance for the sport to have such a caring president. Thus, in light of the unsuccessful historical practices of Turkish football and the continuous frustration, it is time for Erdoğan to reshape Turkish football.

First of all, the junta of corrupt executives must be abolished immediately; our clubs lack regulations to keep executives in check and make them act for the greater good of the club. For instance, unnecessary transfers that leave clubs in debt for many years are the sole result of the individual interests of these executives. They know that no one cares how much money they spend as long as they get the trophy that season, so millions of liras are recklessly spent on managers, players and executives, which does them no harm. Given that only clubs are held accountable for the debts, individuals see no problem using the money for their own interests. A strict regulation that prevents these executives from getting away with their clubs money would seriously decrease fraud and open the way for good people who want to serve their clubs and country.

Second, although Erdoğan said nothing explicitly on the foreign players limit, he said that it can be reviewed in 2019 when most foreign footballers' contracts are up. He also said that a complete ban on foreign players is irrational, but our players must take more time to develop.

What should be done is not limit foreign players, but develop our youth to compete with them. A limit without development would only create a lazy generation that enjoys playing simply due to the ban but would not develop their talent. Thus, I am 100 percent sure that Erdoğan is aware of this and he will take steps to improve conditions for the youth. As Fanatik columnist Mehmet Demirkol said, "We cannot expect coaches with a salary of TL 3,000 to create players worth TL 3 million." First we need to invest in youth, then we should clear their way.

Lastly, Erdoğan also expressed his displeasure that kids are not able to play outside freely today because of drugs and crime. I believe this is another topic that also cannot be solved via punishment, but by rehabilitating policies. We need to create micro-communities to promote sports, health and happiness for our youth to raise healthy, happy individuals. We cannot expect everything to be solved by Ankara, and local authorities must be more proactive to promote these ideals to our children. If we want to see our youth in better places, all of us must do our share.

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