Sven-Goran Eriksson has invited Turkey coach Senol Gunes to join him next week in a press conference ahead of the crucial
Sven-Goran Eriksson has invited Turkey coach Senol Gunes to join him next week in a press conference ahead of the crucial Euro 2004 qualifier in Istanbul next month...
Today saw Eriksson give a round of interviews to Turkish newspapers and TV stations and now he would like a joint briefing at UEFA's Headquarters next Thursday.
Eriksson said: "I would be delighted to hold a press conference with Senol Gunes next week in Switzerland to look ahead to the game and again call for our supporters not to travel, as well as a positive atmosphere inside the stadium."
Eriksson went on to say that he was disappointed with the way recent comments have been reported and was keen to apologise for any offence that may have been taken: "I'm sorry that what I said has been interpreted in the way it has been as it was never my intention to cause any offence to anyone," he said.
"I do hope that the England fans heed the advice not to travel to Istanbul but I'm sure that the game will be played in a great atmosphere.
"It should be the kind of atmosphere that anyone in football would wish to play in. Football matches should be a party."
Eriksson went on to praise Turkey's remarkable progress in international football in recent years - a rise which sees them currently ranked as the sixth best side in the world - and voiced his hope that both teams would qualify for the Euro 2004 finals.
"I hope, and I am sure, that both teams will reach the Euro 2004 finals. Whoever does not get through automatically still has another chance in the play-offs. So good luck to both teams," he said.
"Turkey were brilliant at the World Cup and have many excellent players. They have progressed more than any other country in world football in the past 15 years or so.
"We will prepare for this game as we do for any other. Turkey may be favourites as they are at home but maybe we have the advantage as we have an extra point.
"I just hope that all the best players on both sides are available to play as that would make for an even better football match."