Soccer

Turkey ends coach Guus Hiddink's contract

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ANKARA, Turkey (AP)

Guus Hiddink is available again after parting ways with the Turkish football federation on Wednesday following Turkey's failure to quality for next year's European Championship.

The federation said it had reached a mutual agreement with the 65-year-old Dutch coach to end the contract that was due to expire in August 2012.

''We thank Guus Hiddink for services rendered during his term and wish him a healthy and happy life,'' the federation said.

Turkey managed to hold Croatia to a 0-0 draw in the second leg of the Euro 2012 playoffs in Zagreb on Tuesday, but Croatia claimed a place in the final tournament 3-0 on aggregate.

After the match, Hiddink indicated he was likely to stand down.

''I think this is my last match with this team, there is a high probability of that,'' Hiddink said.

Turkish media reported that Hiddink had bid farewell to the players in Zagreb and did not return to Istanbul with the team.

Hiddink, whose name has been frequently linked to a return to Chelsea, coached South Korea to the 2002 World Cup semifinals and Australia to the second round at the 2006 World Cup. He also guided Russia to the semifinals of the 2008 European Championship.

He was hired in 2010 to take Turkey - a 2002 World Cup semifinalist - to Euro 2012 but failed to work his miracle on the Turkish side. Of the 16 international games played under Hiddink's guidance, Turkey won seven, lost five and drew four.

Hiddink, who has also coached PSV Eindhoven, Real Madrid, Valencia and Fenerbahce, stayed on as a Chelsea adviser after winning the FA Cup in 2009.

The Turkish federation did not say who was expected to replace Hiddink but Belediyespor coach Abdullah Avci is considered to be a top contender for the post.



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