Meserretçioğlu calls for formation of football board after Croatia defeat

After Türkiye’s humiliating Euro 2024 qualifier defeat by Croatia, Galatasaray businessman Murathan Meserretçioğlu voiced his grievances about Turkish football, loudly bemoaning the lack of technical management and infrastructural flaws that had become all too evident.

The Crescent Stars were in shock on Sunday as Mario Kovacic scored twice with two goals, leaving them open and vulnerable to give Croatia a 2-0 lead.

Even if Stefan Kuntz’s boys dominated for a while, the overall performance left a lot to be desired.

Despite the barrage of criticism that followed the defeat, Murathan Meserretçioğlu, known for his bold statements and determination, stepped forward to offer a possible solution to Türkiye’s woes.

Meserretçioğlu stated that looking at the national team is enough to interpret Turkish football.

“Our situation is in a precarious state. The harsh reality of last night has been laid bare; our technical skills to manage football were far from adequate and our players were unable to reach a level of quality commensurate with the highest standard in the nation. Our infrastructure is inadequate and we are far from where we need to be in football. The Croatians have revealed the truth with their words, we are in a system with only 3.5 million residents. ‘What are you doing? with 85 million?’ they said, and it was a valid question indeed,” he said.

Meserretçioğlu said that a complete overhaul is needed to solve the problem.

“It is simply unsustainable to constantly borrow to maintain outdated financial structures, to bemoan individual shortcomings instead of welcoming progress, to reduce the number of foreign players without addressing the problems with referees in our own league, and not to recognize the shortcomings in the football infrastructure of a country with such immense potential. We can’t keep talking about dreams and struggles on TV shows and expect the building to stand if the foundations are wrong,” he said.

In a recent statement, Meserretçioğlu called for a revolution and major changes in all aspects of Turkish football, citing financial, technical, infrastructural, administrative and managerial issues.

He proposed the establishment of a “Football Development Board” similar to the Health Science Board and Earthquake Science Board to guide the development of Turkish football.

He said the committee would bring together experts from different fields, including sports business, football infrastructure, clubs, bureaucracy and refereeing, to identify the problems and shortcomings and develop a roadmap for improvements.

Meserretçioğlu believes that the success of Turkish football lies in the collaboration and contributions of experienced and valuable individuals gathered around one table to reveal this ideal that could lead to a revolution in local football.

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