Turkish Broadcaster TRT sacked one of their commentators mid-game, during the Group F game played between Morocco and Canada.
The game saw Morocco clinch the victory with a 2-1 score line at full time, finishing top of Group F. Canada, on the other hand, was eliminated after failing to score a single point in their three games.
Turkish Commentator Alper Bakircigil was the man tasked with covering the game for broadcaster TRT. During the game, he shared an interesting fact with his viewers. Bakircigil educated his viewers by sharing that former Turkish soccer player Hakan Sukur is credited with scoring the fastest goal in FIFA World Cup history.
While he donned the White and Red jersey of his nation, Sukur was one of the legends of Turkish soccer. He scored 51 times in his 112 appearances for Turkey.
Why is Hakan Sukur’s name forbidden on Turkish broadcasts?
Hakan Sukur was a stalwart of Turkish soccer. He scored many great goals for his country and also holds the record for the fastest goal scored in world cup history. He got the record after scoring under 11 seconds from kickoff in the world cup game against Korea in 2002.
After hanging up his boots, Sukur entered Turkish politics. He was considered quite influential given his standing as a national hero. However, reports later suggested that he had links to terrorist organizations. After being accused of playing a part in a failed attempt to stage a coup, Sukur was being hunted by the Erdogan government in Turkey.
When the Turkish State Television TRT match announcer Alper Bakırcıgil said that Hakan Şükür @hakansukur had scored the earliest goal in the World Cup history, he was fired before the Canada – Morocco match ended. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he was arrested. #WorldCup2022 pic.twitter.com/GAMSlv49xX
— H. S🅾️phia 🇺🇦 (@HagiaSophia13) December 2, 2022
As such, he had no choice but to flee the country where he was once regarded as a national hero. Sukur relocated to the USA along with his family. Since moving to the United States, Sukur has been humbled by his circumstances. He is working as an Uber driver of late.
Alper Bakircigil releases statement after being sacked
Alper Bakircigil was replaced by another commentator at the halftime break. This move by his employer, TRT, came after he mentioned Hasan Sukur on the live broadcast, the man who scored the fastest goal in world cup history.
By the end of the game, Bakircigil was sacked altogether.
Bakircigil later bid farewell on Twitter saying: “I was cut off from the TRT institution, where I worked proudly for many years, after the event that took place today. Separation is included in love. Hope to see you again. Goodbye..”
Hakan Sukur, the man himself, tweeted following Bakircigil’s dismissal.
Rejimin dilini kullanmadan ismim ile haber yapanlara teşekkür ederim.🤗
Hakan Şükür hataları olan ama
Ne ailesinin ne de Ülke insanının başını öne eğdirecek bi şey yapmadı ve yapmayacaktır.
Ülkemde milyonlarca benim gibi bu siyasete mahkum insan vardır.
Arkadaşa da çok üzüldüm. https://t.co/ywNVtSUDM4
— Hakan Şükür (@hakansukur) December 1, 2022
Sukur thanked the people who still mentioned him while reporting news or commentating, and said he was sorry to see the circumstances which led to Bakircigil being sacked.