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Turkish Süper Lig referee breaks quiet after getting smashed by ex-club president Faruk Koca

For the first time since being discharged from the hospital, Halil Umut Meler talked to the media.

Halil Umut Meler has finally spoken forward. After being freed from the hospital, the match official who was ‘attacked’ and assaulted during a Süper Lig game made his first public appearance. Last Tuesday, the Turkish Süper Lig saw a terrifying occurrence. A club President assaulted match official Halil Umut Meler in the face before kicking him on the ground.

As a result of the pandemonium in the league, all league games in Turkey were suspended. Following the occurrence, there was widespread outcry, with many denouncing and blaming the unfortunate situation. Meler also stated that UEFA contacted him about the event. The act was described as “totally unacceptable” by FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

The referee told me that there was “nothing wrong with my health.” He also mentioned that he is open to returning to officiating. Following his release, a hospital physician stated that he had ‘no difficulty’ except a minor swelling beneath his right eye. The doctor noted that a minor facial fracture suffered during the incident will “heal in time.”

Also read: Turkish Football League suspended after club president kicks and punches referee

Faruk Koca resigned after being arrested for striking a referee

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

Faruk Koca, the president of Ankaragucu club, has resigned just days after he ‘punched’ Halil Umut Meler in the face. The official allegedly informed police that Koca had threatened to ‘kill’ him. The club stated that Koca has stepped down as President, with his deputy, Ismail Mert Firat, taking over.

Even though Koca was detained following the event, he was brought to the hospital because he was at risk of suffering a heart attack. However, a Turkish court has ordered his detention and classified the case as a ‘pending trial’ for harming a public official. The league acted quickly, postponing league games, which will now resume on December 19th.

As supporters throughout the world criticize the act, many have demanded punishment and fines to be put on the President and the club. The identity of the individuals who kicked the falling referee in the face and other portions of his body has yet to be confirmed. As a result, there has been a request for tighter regulations and standards to be put in place to prevent similar attacks on match officials.

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