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Türkyilmaz confirms withdrawal from Swiss squad

Türkyilmaz (left) has told Trossero that he doesn't want to play for Switzerland

(Keystone Archive)

Swiss striker Kubilay Türkyilmaz has ruled himself out of this month's crucial World Cup qualifying matches against Yugoslavia and Luxembourg, after complaining about racist abuse during a recent league game.

The veteran Lugano striker claimed that St Gallen fans taunted him with racist remarks about his Turkish roots, during the Ticinese club's 3-2 defeat earlier this month.

Switzerland's Argentinian coach Enzo Trossero said on Friday that he had tried to talk Türkyilmaz out of his decision but to no avail.

"Türkyilmaz has definitely pulled out of the national side," Trossero told reporters. "He feels very hurt by the racist abuse which he has suffered during Swiss league matches."

The son of a Turkish immigrant to Switzerland, Türkyilmaz has played no less than 60 times for Switzerland and is the country's all-time leading goalscorer with a tally of 32 international goals.

As well as being without the firepower of Türkyilmaz, Trossero has had to seek replacements for suspended Swiss midfielder Ciriaco Sforza and injured defender Raphael Wicky.

In their place Trossero has called up Glasgow Celtic defender Ramon Vega and Lausanne midfielder Massimo Lombardo. Vega is set to play his first match for Switzerland since October 1998, while Lombardo returns after an absence of almost four years.

Twenty-one year old Servette striker Alex Frei is the only entirely new name in the squad.

Swiss squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Marco Pascolo (FC Zurich), Jörg Stiel (StGallen), Pascal Zuberbühler (Bayer Leverkusen)

Defenders: Sébastien Fournier (Servette), Stéphane Henchoz (Liverpool), Giuseppe Mazzarelli (Bari), Patrick Müller (Lyon), Yvan Quentin (FC Zurich), Ramon Vega (Celtic), Marc Zellweger (St Gallen), Marco Zwyssig (St Gallen)

Midfielders: Patrick Bühlmann (FC Zurich), Mario Cantaluppi (Basel), Fabio Celestini (Troyes), Antonio Esposito (Cagliari), Massimo Lombardo (Lausanne), Johann Lonfat (Servette), Sascha Müller (St Gallen), Johann Vogel (PSV Eindhoven)

Forwards: Stéphane Chapuisat (Grasshoppers Zurich), Alexandre Frei (Servette), Hakan Yakin (Basel)


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