Turkish Football Cub Punches Referee - Turkey Suspends All League Games

Turkish Football Cub Punches Referee - Turkey Suspends All League Games

Analysis

Football

December 12th, 2023

The Turkish Football Federation has suspended all league games in the country after Faruk Koca President of Ankaragucu FC punched referee Halil Umut Meler

Faruk Koca, president of MKE Ankaragucu, punched referee Halil Umut Meler on the ground late Monday after the final whistle, following a 1-1 draw with Caykur Rizespor in a Super Lig game.

The referee was also kicked in a scuffle that erupted as supporters flooded the pitch after Rizespor scored a last-minute equalizer.

Following an emergency meeting to examine the violence, the federation declared that all league games would be postponed indefinitely.

Meler was admitted to the hospital with a little fracture near his eye, although he was not in critical condition. He was scheduled to be released on Wednesday.

Koca, who was suspected of having a heart attack, was also hospitalized overnight. After interrogation by prosecutors, he was ordered jailed pending trial on allegations of harming a public official, Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc stated on X.

Two additional suspects accused of kicking Meler were also detained, while three others were released on the condition that they report to police on a regular basis.

Post Chaos Reactions

According to HaberTurk television, Koca denied causing any injuries during his interrogation, maintaining that he only slapped the referee. The club president reportedly blamed Meler for the incident, accusing him of "wrongful decisions" and offensive behavior, according to the station, citing anonymous judicial sources.

"This is an unfortunate and shameful attack in the name of football," federation chief Mehmet Buyukeksi stated during the emergency meeting.
"We say enough is enough," he continued, emphasizing that all those participating in the violence will face consequences


Buyukeksi also blamed the incident on a culture in Turkey that despises referees.

Buyukeksi told reporters after visiting Meler in the hospital that he hoped the event would serve as a "milestone" for reform in Turkey, which has been chosen to co-host the 2032 European Championship with Italy.

The incident was strongly denounced by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"Sports symbolizes peace and brotherhood." The sport and violence are incompatible. "We will never tolerate violence in Turkish sports," he wrote on X.

Despite efforts to curb it, violence in soccer is frequent in Turkey and various other European nations.

Following a sports-related incident last week that left a police officer with life-threatening injuries, Greece declared on Monday that all top-flight soccer matches will be played without supporters in stadiums for the next two months.

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img via : Emin Sansar/Anadolu via Getty Images

tag: Ankaragucu FC

Klind Parangoni Author

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