Turkiye’s national amputee football team crowned world champions

Turkiye’s men’s amputee football team have beaten reigning champions Angola 4-1 in the final of the World Cup. Goals from Ömer Güleryüz, Serkan Dereli, and a brace from Rahmi Özcan powered the Turks to victory. The final was played at Istanbul’s Nef Stadium, home of Süper Lig side Galatasaray.

The result reverses the outcome of the 2018 final, when Angola beat Turkiye 5-4 in a penalty shootout following a goalless draw to lift the Amputee Football World Cup in Mexico.

A goal from Güleryüz gave Turkiye the lead in the 19th minute of the final, before Angola’s Heno Adao equalised five minutes later. The first half ended evenly poised at 1-1.

Both sides had chances in the second half. However the Turks quickly asserted their dominance, with the game turning on a penalty, converted by Özcan mid-way through the second half, which gave Turkiye the lead. Minutes later, Özcan doubled the lead with his second goal. Dereli’s goal, and Turkiye’s fourth, put the game beyond reach, with the Turkish bench and fans in the stadium erupting when the final whistle went.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan presented the trophy to the team, and also congratulated them on social media. “I sincerely congratulate our National Amputee Football Team, which has won the Amputee Football World Cup, for their determined struggle, efforts and their great achievement,” the Turkish president tweeted.

The Turkish national side had won its preliminary games against France and Liberia, and drawn with Haiti in the group phase, before going on to beat Mexico, Morocco and Uzbekistan in the knockout stages to reach the final against Angola.

Earlier, Uzbekistan, who Turkiye had defeated 1-0 in the semi-final on Friday, clinched third place by beating Haiti 4-2.

The 2022 Amputee Football World Cup finals, which started on 30 Saturday and ran until 9 October, featured a total 24 teams at the tournament in Istanbul. These were: Angola, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, England, France,  Germany, Haiti, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Mexico, Morocco, Poland, Spain,  Tanzania, Turkiye (host), United States, Uruguay, and Uzbekistan.

Turkiye’s triumph at the 2022 Amputee World Cup cements their presence as a leading amputee footballing nation. In 2017, the Turkish national side beat England 2-1 to lift the European Cup in front of 40,000 spectators at the Vodafone Park Stadium in Istanbul.