Turkey retained European Amputee Football Championship

 Turkey are European amputee football champions once again after successfully defending their title in Kraków, Poland.

Turkey retained European Amputee Football Championship

Having lifted the inaugural title in 2017, the Turkish side returned with a strong display to retain the trophy, scoring an incredible 36 goals in their five matches, and conceding just twice against Russia in the semi-finals. Forward Ömer Güleryüz top-scored at the tournament with 11 goals.

Final standings

1 Turkey

2 Spain

3 Poland

4 Russia

5 England

6 Italy

7 France

8 Ireland

9 Germany

10 Greece

11 Georgia

12 Ukraine

13 Israel

14 Belgium

Osman Çakmak, head coach of the Turkish Amputee Football team

"First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who contributed to the organisation of the European Amputee Football Championship. All the teams were there to give their best and I think the fair play spirit was effective throughout the tournament.

"When we evaluate the Turkish Amputee Football national team specifically, we took our place in Kraków as the last champion of the tournament. The responsibility of protecting the title and the given promises to those who believed and trusted us pushed us towards a strict training process. In the end, we won a deserved championship for our country by getting the reward of our efforts. In conclusion, I would like to thank again to everyone who participated in the tournament and contributed to the realisation of this tournament."

A grassroots game rich in growth

The tournament acts as the showcase occasion for European amputee football, which is enjoying burgeoning popularity across the continent and demonstrating that the game is for everyone, regardless of age or ability.

International tournaments and domestic club championships are helping to attract new players and raise awareness of the discipline among the wider football community.

Thanks to its partnership with UEFA, the European Amputee Football Federation (EAFF) supports the development of junior programmes in member countries, encouraging amputee children to take up the game.

Mateusz Widłak, president of the European Amputee Football Federation (EAFF)

"For the past eight to 10 years or so, amputee football has experienced a real boom. In Europe alone, the number of countries where the sport is practised has increased from 11 to 19 in the last five years.

"The number of players, clubs, leagues, international events and matches has grown by hundreds of per cent. Children and youth amputee football have emerged, and thousands of fans have followed club and international competitions.

"Now, there are almost 70 countries worldwide playing amputee football. Strong continental federations are being established, and the discipline is increasingly moving towards [becoming a] Paralympic sport."

How did amputee football start?

Meet Turkey’s superstar amputee footballer

The game goes from strength to strength, but amputee football was ‘discovered’ by chance in 1980 by Don Bennet of Seattle, who had lost a leg in a boating accident.

Watching his son play basketball, Bennet pushed a bouncing ball back with the help of his crutches. Soon, Bennet and a group of seven disabled skiers were regularly playing amputee football to stay active during the winter months. Four decades later, the sport is officially recognised by FIFA and played in more than 30 countries around the world – a figure that is growing all the time. It is hoped that amputee football will soon become a Paralympic discipline.

Post a Comment