Alpay sparks dispute with Cologne after earning Turkey recall

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The Independent Football

The former Villa and Fenerbahce centre-back has played just twice this season due to injury but has enraged his club manager by agreeing to join up with his national side.

Rapolder called the 32-year-old to a meeting at which Alpay outlined his desire to help his country qualify for next summer's World Cup finals. "If I am fit, I am allowed to go," said Alpay. "I am fit so I am going."

Clubs have an obligation to release players for international duty unless they are injured but Rapolder claims Alpay should not be allowed to travel as his summer signing has not been fit since joining the club last month.

Macedonia forward Georgi Hristov, the country's top scorer with 17 goals, has been recalled after a two-year absence for the World Cup qualifier with Holland.

The Debrecen forward has been named in a 23-man squad named yesterday by the caretaker coach, Boban Babunski, for their final European Group One qualifier in Amsterdam on 12 October.

Defender Aleksander Vasoski has also been selected after missing the 1-5 defeat in Finland this month due to suspension.

Holland lead the group with 28 points from 10 matches, four points clear of the Czech Republic who face in Prague on 8 October. The Dutch have already clinched at least a play-off spot for the 2006 finals in Germany. Macedonia are fifth after just two wins in 11 matches and have long been out of the running for a place at the finals.

The Ukraine coach, Oleg Blokhin, plans few changes to his squad for next year's World Cup following their successful qualifying campaign. Ukraine reached the finals for the first time earlier this month after securing first place in Group Two, ahead of Turkey and Greece.

"There will not be any big changes in the national side. The backbone of the team is already in place," he said. "What's important is for all current players to remain in good form and good health."

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