Armenia – Turkey preview: what a football game in the road to South Africa 2010

While many worry Turkey and Armenia's troubled relationship may ruin the World Cup qualification match, Turkish team boss Fatih Terim said that Saturday's game was “only a football game.”

Ahead of the game, which will be the first-ever football game between two national teams, Turkish national team coach Terim played down the tension in a poetic way while speaking at a press conference in Istanbul yesterday, according to Turkish Daily News.

The game at Yerevan's Hrazdan Stadium will be Turkey's first trip to Armenia for a high-profile sporting event and has already become more than a simple football match, turning into a diplomatic issue. It took weeks and various heated debates in the country before Turkish President Abdullah Gül responded to Armenian President Serge Sarkisian's invitation to watch the game together.

“This is the first game between the two countries, and that is important. Plus, it is important because it is the first game in the Group Five,” said Terim. “It is clear that our opponents will take the game with a different motivation. But for us, this is only a football game, not war.”

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