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Turkish Football League suspended after club president kicks and punches referee

The FA has suspended all league games after a Turkish club president attacked a referee during a league game.

A horrifying occurrence has rocked the footballing globe and halted Turkish football. Following a Turkish Süper Lig game between Ankaragücü and Rizespor, Turkish league referee Halil Umut Meler was ‘attacked’ by a club president and personnel. All forms of football in Turkey have been halted indefinitely after a match referee was hit in the face and then kicked by club workers.

After the final whistle, the match referee stood on the pitch with his helpers. According to footage, Ankaragücü President Faruk Koca caught the referee with a right hook. Meler quickly fell to the ground as another unidentified man kicked him in the face. Players and staff quickly created a ‘barrier’ around the referee.

Following the event, the Turkish Football Federation stated that all league matches in the nation would be suspended. Games around the country have been halted indefinitely. It was also stated that Koca was assaulted after being dragged away from the incident. Meler, too, was assisted to his feet and escorted from the pitch.

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What occurred when the president punched the referee?

 Faruk Koca. (Source: ESPN)
Faruk Koca. (Source: ESPN)

A referee was attacked and kicked by a club President and personnel in yet another example of ‘bizarre’ situations in Turkish football. The horrific episode has compelled netizens to speculate on what caused the disaster. At the Eryaman Stadium, Ankaragücü and Rizespor fought to a 1-1 tie. However, a late equalizer by the visitors infuriated the home team’s crew and management.

Ankaragücü seized the lead in the 14th minute through Olimpiu Moruţan and were on their way to a three-point victory. A win over Rizespor would put them within striking distance of their visitors while also propelling them to ninth place. Adolfo Gaich’s last-gasp equalizer, however, enraged the home crowd.

According to the official statement, the federation is actively monitoring Halil Umut Meler’s health. They also wished the official a fast recovery. They applauded any acts of violence against authorities. Furthermore, the organization stated that words directed at officials made by coaches and TV commentators contributed to the unfortunate occurrence.

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