League matches suspended in Turkey following referee assault

The Turkish Football Federation has suspended all league matches indefinitely after an assault on FIFA-licensed referee Halil Umut Meler.

Publication: 12.12.2023 - 10:38
League matches suspended in Turkey following referee assault
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The incident occurred when Faruk Koca, president of the top-tier club MKE Ankaragucu, attacked Meler following a draw with Çaykur Rizespor on Monday.

In a post-match altercation, Koca confronted and punched Meler on the field, causing the referee to collapse. Following this violent episode, Koca, reportedly feeling unwell, was admitted to a hospital under police watch. "Detention procedures will follow his treatment," stated Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya, who also confirmed the arrest of two individuals for kicking Meler during the incident, as directed by the Ankara West Chief Public Prosecutor's Office.

Mehmet Buyukeksi, President of the Turkish Football Federation, condemned the attack in strong terms. "The club responsible and its executives will face severe punishment. This heinous act implicates anyone who has ever targeted referees," he announced after an urgent board meeting.

The federation's decision to halt league games underscores the gravity of the situation and its commitment to referee safety in the sport.

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