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President of Turkish soccer club physically assaults referee after Super Lig match – NBC New York

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The Turkish Football Federation has taken a strong stance against violence in football by suspending all league games in the country. This decision comes after MKE Ankaragucu president Faruk Koca punched referee Halil Umut Meler in the face and attacked him on the pitch at the end of a top-flight match. This incident occurred after a 1-1 draw in a Super Lig game against Caykur Rizespor, which also saw fans invading the pitch after Rizespor scored a last-minute equalizer.

The violent attack on the referee prompted the federation to hold an emergency meeting where they made the decision to suspend all league games indefinitely. Federation chief Mehmet Buyukeksi condemned the attack as “unfortunate and shameful” and declared that all those involved in the violence would be punished. He also blamed the incident on a culture of disrespect towards referees in Turkey, pointing out that irresponsible statements from club officials, managers, coaches, and television commentators have contributed to this culture of violence.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also spoke out against the attack, stating that “sports means peace and brotherhood” and that violence has no place in Turkish sports.

Koca, who reportedly has heart problems, was hospitalized and will be taken into custody following treatment. Additionally, two other individuals who attacked Meler on the pitch were detained for questioning. While Meler was hospitalized with a slight fracture near his eye, he was not in a serious condition.

The federation’s decision to suspend league games indefinitely sends a strong message that violence in football will not be tolerated, and reinforces the need for a culture of respect towards referees and officials in Turkish football.

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Photo credit www.nbcnewyork.com

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