Türkiye wins Amputee Football World Cup
After the first half ended 1-1, with Ömer Güleryüz scoring Türkiye’s goal, Rahmi Özcan netted from the penalty spot and then scored the third, taking full control over the match.
Serkan Dereli added the finishing touch, while Angola’s goal came from Heno Adao.
Meanwhile, Uzbekistan defeated Haiti 4-2 in the third-place game.
Türkiye defeated France 3-0 and Liberia 5-0 in the group matches of the world cup. Drawn 1-1 with Haiti, the team beat Morocco 4-1 in the quarterfinals.
Then, against Uzbekistan, the country’s team made it to the finals with a score of 1-0.
Türkiye was the runner up in 2018’s world cup as it lost to Angola 5-4 in the final’s penalty shootouts.
Finishing third in the world cup in 2007, in which the country participated for the first time, Türkiye held the same rank in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
The team achieved a great success by winning the European Championship twice in a row in 2017 and 2021, after ranking second both in 2004 and 2008.
“I worked hard and struggled a lot,” said Bülent Çetin, the team’s goalkeeper. “It was my biggest dream to crown it with the world cup.”
Stating that he had a congenital polio, which caused him to lose a part of his leg, Fuat Taştan, another player from the squad, said, “I realized that my physical condition was not actually an obstacle, and football was an opportunity for me to express myself.”
Another player from the team, Muhammet Yeğen, encouraged young amputees to never give up on their dreams “even if they face adversity.”
“I’ve been playing football for about 14 years. I represented my country abroad many times. I can say this to young disabled brothers who want to take to the pitch: The only thing that will lead us to success and our goals is not to give up, to be determined and to work hard,” said Savaş Kara from the team.
Losing his left leg in the 2011 earthquake in the eastern province of Van, the team’s Okay Şahiner said, “I started amputee football in 2013 to erase the traces of the earthquake. Now I serve my country with happiness and excitement.”
“It is a great honor and happiness to have this team,” said Osman Çakmak, who has been the coach of the team since May 2019. He was also the captain of the team before.
Stating that there are 20 active branches such as basketball, volleyball, football, archery, table tennis and swimming within the Turkish Sports Federation for the Physically Disabled, Çakmak said, urged young amputees to contact them.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was in the stadium to watch the final game and handed the trophy to the winners himself.
“I sincerely congratulate our Amputee Football National Team, which has won the championship of the Amputee Football World Cup, for their determined struggle, efforts and their great achievement,” Erdoğan also wrote on Twitter.