Arrests Made After Turkish Football Club President Punches Referee

(RepublicanDaily.org) – The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) has taken action by suspending all league games in the country and detaining Faruk Koca, the president of Ankaragucu. This move comes after Koca physically attacked the officiating referee in the face following his team’s home draw against city rival Rizespor.

On Tuesday, the court also ordered the detention of two additional suspects concerning the incident during Ankaragucu’s home game on Monday evening.

The TFF stated that it stopped all league games because of a “disgraceful” incident in Ankara.

Former Member of the National Assembly, Yilmaz Tunc, mentioned that Koca and two others were arrested for attacking a public official after speaking with the prosecutors.

Koca struck Meler on the field after the final whistle when Rizespor scored a late-minute goal to equalize the game at Eryaman Stadium, as seen in viral footage across social media. After the match, home supporters stormed the pitch, and the referee was also attacked while on the ground, although some of the attackers remained unidentified. With security officials’ assistance, Meler eventually found his way to the dressing room.

TFF Chairman Mehmet Buyukeksi stated that Turkish football suffered a shameful blow that night, and everyone involved in the incident will face persecution. Koca explained to the court that the incident resulted from the referee’s wrong decisions and provocative behavior. He clarified that he intended to confront the referee verbally and not attack him physically.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the attack on the officiating referee Halil Meler after the Ankaragucu vs. Rizespor match that evening. He wished him a quick recovery and stated, “Sports are about peace and brotherhood. Violence has no place in sports. We won’t let violence happen in Turkish sports.”

Since becoming a FIFA referee in 2017, 37-year-old Meler officiated the Lazio vs. Celtic Champions League group game on November 28.

Ankaragucu is currently in the 11th position in the standings with 18 points, trailing Rizespor by three places with 22 points after 15 matches.

Meanwhile, the resumption date for Super Lig matches remains unknown.

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