The recent tournament in Kraków highlighted the ever-growing popularity of the discipline, with Turkish side Etimesgut Amputee Sport Club becoming the third winners of the trophy.
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The third amputee football Champions League tournament took place in Poland last month, bringing together seven sides from across Europe for a fiercely fought competition, that was eventually won by Türkiye’s Etimesgut Amputee Sport Club.
The Turkish side lifted the trophy following a 5-2 final victory over hosts Wisła Kraków, bringing the curtain down on a fantastic event which showcased the best of this quickly growing discipline of the sport, where outfield players use crutches to navigate the field and goalkeepers play with one hand or arm.
Played in front of large crowds appreciative of the skill and stamina required, the tournament was a huge success for the European Amputee Football Federation (EAFF), with teams from across the continent going head-to-head.
1. Etimesgut Amputee Sport Club (Türkiye)
2. Wisła Kraków (Poland)
3. Manchester City (England)
4. C.D Flamencos Amputados Sur (Spain)
5. Olimpique Jouy le Moutier (France)
6. AFC Tbilisi (Georgia)
7. Sporting Amp Football (Italy)
Former Poland international and tournament ambassador, Jakub Błaszczykowski:
"You want to participate in such events. Undoubtedly, the difficulty level of the matches, organiszation of the event and accompanying setting deserve recognition. I believe that Kraków – and, most of all, the Wisła club – showed their best, providing the participants with great conditions for competition on the field.
"I would like to congratulate all teams on their skills and an exemplary attitude, and I wish fans to get even more similar events that bring so many emotions."
As well as crowning the European champions, the tournament also honoured individual and fair play award winners.
Fair Play award: Wisła Kraków
Best goalkeeper: Igor Woźniak (Wisła Kraków)
Top scorer: Ömer Güleryüz (Etimesgut Amputee Sport Club) - 12 goals
Best player: Ömer Güleryüz (Etimesgut Amputee Sport Club)
The amputee football Champions League followed last autumn’s European Championship, which was also staged in Kraków and won by Türkiye.
Amputee football in Europe
Amputee football is growing in popularity across Europe. 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 EAFF supports the development of junior programmes in member countries, encouraging amputee children to take up the game.
The sport is officially recognised by FIFA and is now 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.