Turkey uses Slovakian ringer for national hockey team game
Celal Demirbilek SARAJEVO / Hürriyet
Hürriyet photoTurkey’s national ice hockey team recently used an ineligible Slovakian ringer who donned a Turk’s jersey for an international game against Bosnia and Herzegovina, daily Hürriyet has reported.
Slovakian player Denis Legersky, who is not ineligible to play for the Turkish team because he lacks citizenship, was given the jersey of Ogün Uzunali during an exhibition game in Sarajevo.
Legersky, who plays for the Turkish team İzmir BB, scored both of the national team’s goals as it suffered a 7-2 rout.
Turkish Ice Hockey Federation chairman Orhan Duman defended the decision.
“Our opponents had two players from [Canada] so we used Legersky to avoid a disgraceful result,” Duman said. “He has been playing in Turkish leagues for three-and-a-half years. He is not a Turkish citizen but has said he was proud to wear the Turkish national team jersey.”
Duman admitted that Legersky was named as a trainer in the official game list.
The move drew anger from the Youth and Sports General Directorate, however.
“Whether it’s a special match or a friendly, this is a scandal. The Turkish national team jersey is not a cheap jersey. Only Turkish citizens and deserving athletes can don [the uniform],” an official at the directorate said.