Avci Named Turkey National Soccer Team Coach, Replaces Hiddink

Nov. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Abdullah Avci was named coach of Turkey’s national soccer team, one day after Guus Hiddink left the post.

Avci, who’d been coaching Turkish club Istanbul BB, signed a contract through May 2015, Turkey’s soccer federation said on its website.

“It’s an honorable job as much as it requires huge responsibility,” Avci, 48, said. “I’m very happy to be deemed for such a position. Turkey will make big moves and we’ll share this with the public.”

Avci took over Istanbul BB in 2006 after leading Turkey to the European under-17 championship the previous year. Istanbul BB won promotion to the top flight in his first season and reached the final of the Turkish Cup last season for the first time.

Hiddink departed by mutual consent yesterday after Turkey failed to reach next year’s European Championship. Turkey lost 3-0 to Croatia in a two-match playoff after a 0-0 tie in the second game two nights ago.

Hiddink, who took Russia to the semifinals at Euro 2008, was named Turkey coach in February 2010. Turkey was also a semifinalist at Euro 2008, its last appearance in a major tournament.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.