Turkey midfielder Emre Belozoglu has been ruled out of his country's Euro 2008 Group A survival battle with Switzerland on Wednesday, head coach Fatih Terim confirmed.
Emre, who has just left Newcastle for Turkish club Fenerbahce, has suffered a torn hamstring and is also likely to miss Turkey's final match in Group A, against 2004 semi-finalists Czech Republic, Fatih indicated.
The loss of Emre means both teams will be without one of their most important players with the Swiss captain and leading scorer Alex Frei having been ruled out of the tournament with knee ligament damage.
“Unfortunately it is Frei with Switzerland and Emre with us, Emre is not going to play tomorrow (Wednesday),” Fatih told a press conference here on Tuesday.
“We sent him for a scan today (Tuesday) and the result was a tear of three to four centimetres. We are not happy about this but there is nothing we can do about it.
“We don't know if he will play in the next match. The medical team does not think so but they will try.”
Turkey have other injury concerns over Servet Cetin and Gokhan Zan. The two defenders will have fitness tests on the morning of the match but Fatih downplayed their significance in comparison to the loss of playmaker Emre.
“Not having Emre is not just a question of having one player out and bringing another one in. The role he plays is not that simple.”
Turkey cannot afford to lose on Wednesday after a 2-0 defeat by Portugal in their opening match. Switzerland are also walking a high wire in the tournament following their 1-0 loss to the Czechs in the opening match.
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