On Thursday, the decisive factor to reach the 1/8 finals took place matches group F. In one of them, Morocco faced Canada. The North American team started this game in the worst possible way. Already in the fourth minute she lost a goal after a fatal mistake by goalkeeper Milan Borjan.
Turkish commentator fired at half-time
In Turkey, this match was broadcast on TRT TV. After the above mentioned goal, commentator Alper Bakircigil mentioned that the fastest goal in World Cup history was scored by former Turkish footballer Hakan Sukur. He did it in the 11th second against South Korea in the 2002 World Cup. It might seem that the memory of the incredible feat of a compatriot was nothing special and at most would bring a smile in the faces of the spectators. However, the whole situation took a completely unexpected turn.
The mention of Sukur clearly did not sit well with Bakircigil’s employers, who decided to fire the commentator at halftime of the game. “After today’s incident, I was fired from TRT where I have proudly worked for many years. Hope to see you again.” – he wrote on Twitter, and his account was deleted shortly after.
Why was Bakircigil fired for mentioning Sukura? He was not mistaken, but the name of the former Turkish footballer is banned in the country because he is considered a great enemy of President Recep Erdogan. After his career ended, Sukur entered politics and supported the opposition. He came into conflict with Erdogan, who in 2016 accused him of a coup attempt, issued a warrant for his arrest and confiscated all his property. The former footballer moved to the United States, where he still lives and works as an Uber driver. There is no way to return to the homeland.
“Erdogan took everything from me. My right to freedom, my right to express myself. My wife’s shop was pelted with stones. Children were harassed in the street and I received death threats after every public appearance – he confessed in an interview with Welt Am Sonntag.
Sukur is a legend of Turkish football. He made 112 appearances for the national team matchesin which he scored 51 goals. With the national team he played in two editions of the European Championships (in 1996 and 2000) and finished third in the 2002 World Cup. During his career he played in InterMilanBlackburn Rovers and Galatasaray, with whom he won the UEFA Cup in 2000.
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The match between Morocco and Canada ended in a 2-1 victory for the African team. Thanks to this, she leaves the group with the first place and will face Spain in the 1/8 finals. Game is scheduled for December 6 at 4:00 p.m.
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