Geopolitics cast shadow on France-Turkey qualifier
SAINT-DENIS, FRANCE (OCTOBER 13, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
1. FRENCH TEAM ON PITCH DOING TRAINING EXERCISE
2. STRIKER ANTOINE GRIEZMANN AND DEFENDER LUCAS HERNANDEZ TRAINING
3. STRIKER OLIVIER GIROUD TRAINING
4. COACH DIDIER DESCHAMPS TALKING TO COACHING STAFF MEMBER
5. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRANCE NATIONAL TEAM COACH DIDIER DESCHAMPS SAYING:
"This (Turkey) is a team which has 18 points like us. These points did not come from nowhere. They're efficient, solid, because they concede few goals even if they give away opportunities, but they only gave away two goals in seven matches, and only goals from set-pieces. So voila, they deserve these 18 points, they have a remarkable offensive potential."
6. PLAYERS DOING EXERCISES
7. HERNANDEZ RUNNING
8. PLAYERS KICKING BALL
9. DEFENDER DJIBRIL SIDIBE STRETCHING
10. PLAYERS DOING EXERCISES
11. GRIEZMANN, MIDFIELDER CORENTIN TOLISSO AND OTHER PLAYERS DOING EXERCISES
12. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRANCE NATIONAL TEAM COACH DIDIER DESCHAMPS SAYING:
"Geopolitical problems are there. Will this have consequences on the ambiance of the match. We will not be thinking of this. We're in a sporting realm, a football match in a football stadium. We will make sure we concentrate on it."
13. DEFENDER RAPHAEL VARANE, GIROUD, GRIEZMANN, HERNANDEZ, TOLISSO AND OTHER PLAYERS DOING EXERCISES
14. PLAYERS STRETCHING
15. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRANCE NATIONAL TEAM DEFENDER RAPHAEL VARANE SAYING:
"Of course we are committed to playing a good match. In the first leg (where Turkey won 2-0), we didn't play our brand of football. It was not the real face of our team. So we want to show another face, to display ourselves at our best."
15. TURKISH TEAM ON PITCH AT START OF THEIR TRAINING
16. TURKISH PLAYERS RUNNING
17. DEFENDER HAKAN CALHANOGLU, AND STRIKER CENK TOZUN STRETCHING
18. CALHANOGLU DOING EXERCISES
19. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKEY NATIONAL TEAM MIDFIELDER IRFAN KAHVECI SAYING:
"I want to underline that is not a war. It is a counter-terror operation. Our soldiers are there to fight against terrorists and of course we support our country and I hope all our soldiers come home unharmed."
20. COACH SENOL GUNES (RIGHT) WALKING ON PITCH WITH COACHING STAFF MEMBER
21. STRIKER CENK TOSUN DOING EXERCISES
22. PLAYERS DOING JUMPING EXERCISE
23. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKEY NATIONAL TEAM COACH SENOL GUNES SAYING:
"Terrorism originates from overseas. This is what has caused a lot of security problems in Turkey. I don't want to make any political declarations. The fact is our children could be these soldiers. I would not wish for there to be any deaths. All countries must condemn terrorist acts."
24. GUNES IN NEWS CONFERENCE
25. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKEY NATIONAL TEAM COACH SENOL GUNES SAYING:
"Terrorists that have infiltrated Turkey have targeted Turkish people. We don't want war, but I wouldn't want this discussion to take over the match. Of course we encourage our soldiers who are out there, but I am against any kind of violence. It's human nature."
26. VARIOUS OF PLAYERS DOING EXERCISES
27. FORWARD BURAK YILMAZ WALKING
28. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKEY NATIONAL TEAM COACH SENOL GUNES SAYING:
"Our primary adversary was more Iceland than France, because we absolutely had to finish ahead of Iceland. But tomorrow, our adversary is France, we want to show our strength, and we will try to give a beautiful performance. Our players are successful too on the world stage. In any case, we must respect the French team."
29. TOZUN AND MIDFIEDER YUSUF YAZICI DOING STRETCHES
30. PLAYERS DOING STRETCHES
STORY: Political tensions threaten to overshadow a Euro 2020 qualifier match between France and Turkey on Monday (October 15), despite reassurances from the teams' coaches that the focus will be on football.
Turkish coach Senol Gunes said he did not want to make a political declaration when asked whether the team's military salute during its match against Albania was an expression of support for Turkey's military offensive in Syria.
"The fact is our children could be these soldiers... Of course we encourage our soldiers who are out there, but I am against any kind of violence," he said Sunday (October 14).
UEFA has said they would examine whether Turkey's gesture had violated regulations that prohibit references to politics and religion.
Monday's match comes just after French President Emmanuel Macron said he called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to urge a halt to the offensive, warning it could trigger a humanitarian crisis.
French coach Didier Deschamps brushed geopolitics aside, and said his team will concentrate on football.
France and Turkey, who meet at the Stade de France on Monday, have 18 points each but the world champions are behind by virtue of their 2-0 loss in Konya in June.
Turkish media reported that around 30,000 Turkish fans are expected on Monday in Stade de France, with French star players Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba and Hugo Lloris expected to be absent. Turkey's playmaker Emre Belozoglu will also be out on injury.
Both teams are making do with only one day's rest after their matches last Friday (October 12), when France earned a 1-0 win against Iceland and Turkey beat Albania 1-0.
(Production: Michaela Cabrera, Yonathan Vandervoort)
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