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The scandal of the year in Turkey. A soccer referee was knocked out and then kicked while lying down

Maksym InshakovSport
The incident caused a serious resonance in the country

In Turkey, the match of the 15th round of the Super League football championship between Ankaragücü and Rizespor ended in a huge scandal. After the final whistle blew, the home team's president, Faruk Koca, ran onto the field and attacked the referee, Halil Meler, punching him in the eye. When the referee fell to the turf, Ankaragücü's employees continued to kick him. One of the blows hit him in the head.

Mehler was immediately taken to the dugout, where he received first aid, after which the 37-year-old referee was hospitalized with a concussion.

The scandal of the year in Turkey. A soccer referee was knocked out and then kicked while lying down

The next day, on the order of Turkish Interior Minister Ali Erlikay, law enforcement officers detained Kocu and two other people.

The President of the Turkish Football Federation, Mehmet Büyükekşi, said that the upcoming matches in all leagues would be postponed.

"This attack is a night of shame for Turkish football. Football matches are not a war, there is no death at the end. Not all teams can become champions at the same time. We all need to realize this. We call on everyone to take responsibility," The Athletic quoted Büyükekşi as saying.

The attack on the referee was condemned by Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

The victim himself told what happened.

"Faruk Koca punched me under the left eye and I fell to the ground. While I was lying on the ground, his men repeatedly hit me in the face and other parts of my body. Koca told all my referee friends and me: "I will finish you off" Then he turned to me: "I'm going to kill you," Sabah quoted Meler as saying.

The scandal of the year in Turkey. A soccer referee was knocked out and then kicked while lying down

In turn, Koca admitted that he had already testified to the prosecutor's office and the police and refused to accept the charges against him. According to the president of Ankaragücü, the referee is solely to blame for what happened, as he "made wrong decisions and behaved provocatively."

"My goal was to express everything to the judge and spit in his face. However, I slapped him in the face. The slap I gave him did not cause any fractures. After it (the slap), the judge stood for about 5-10 seconds and then fell to the ground," Koсa added in an interview with trthaber.com.

 

The scandal of the year in Turkey. A soccer referee was knocked out and then kicked while lying down

It should be noted that the match between Ankaragücü and Rizespor ended with a score of 1:1. Meler showed a red card to one player from each team. The decisive goal in the 97th minute was scored by the visitors' forward Adolfo Gaich.

The scandal of the year in Turkey. A soccer referee was knocked out and then kicked while lying down

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