Tensions off the pitch ahead of Turkey’s clash with France, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Tensions off the pitch ahead of Turkey’s clash with France

France host Turkey in a crunch Euro 2020 qualifier tomorrow morning (Singapore time) with the teams vying for top spot in Group H and diplomatic tension simmering between the two nations after Turkey's bombardment of Syrian Kurds last week.

With three games to go in the qualifying campaign, the sides have 18 points each ahead of the showdown at the Stade de France, but Turkey top the group on the head-to-head rule after their 2-0 defeat of Les Bleus in Konya in June.

French striker Olivier Giroud said the world champions "want to put that right (the defeat), as a matter of pride because of what happened over there".

Looming large over the game, however, will be security issues and international diplomatic relations as France decried Turkish military interventions in Syria this week and blocked arms sales to them.

European football's governing body Uefa are also looking into reports that Turkey players performed a military salute in celebration of Cenk Tosun's last-gasp winner over Albania in Istanbul last Thursday.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan can often be seen at football matches and has taken many photo calls with top players.- AFP