Ghana’s Richard Arthur Opentil and Mubarak Mohammed have been crowned European champions after winning the European Clubs Champions League with the club side Sahinbey Belediye FK in Turkey.
Their club, Sahinbey beat competition from four other clubs from Poland, Italy, Kazakhstan and Georgia to lift the coveted cup in Turkey.
Sahinbey beat Legea Amputee Football Club from Poland 3-1 in the finals after disposing off the other clubs.
The feat makes Richard Arthur Opentil, Captain of Ghana’s Amputee Football team, the Black Challenge, the first to win the cup twice. He won the same trophy in 2012 with Yenimahalle
In an interview, Opentil expressed delight at the feat and hopped this would draw the attention of the authorities to the lesser-funded sports.
“We hope the authorities would offer greater support to us to continue to lift the flag of Ghana high, as we have demonstrated in the many achievements we have recorded,” Opentil stated.
He was optimistic Ghana would soon lift the Amputee Football World Cup to cement its name as the greatest achievers in the disability sport.
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Mubarak Mohammed challenged Ghanaian authorities to invest more into disability sports as a social responsibility and to help raise the image of Ghana internationally.
Ghana remains the first African Champions in amputee football and holds the enviable record of transfer the first ever professional amputee football players in the world.
Three players, Richard Arthur Opentil, Francis Antwi Darkwah and Attah Yeboah became the first amputee footballers to be transferred in the world when they joined clubs in Turkey in 2011, following a splendid performance at the 2010 Amputee Football World Cup in Cerrito, Argentina. Ghana placed 6th and became the first African quarter-finalists then.
Ghana can boast of some sixteen (16) amputee football players in Turkey and is known as the pacesetters in the sport, having paved the way for other African countries such as Angola, Algeria, Kenya, Nigeria and Liberia to also transfer players to Turkey.