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Turkish Football Referee Physically Attacked by Club President

Turkish top-tier club MKE Ankaragucu’s president Faruk Koca physically attacked referee Halil Umut Meler after his side’s draw against Caykur Rizespor on Monday, according to Anadolu Agency.

The Turkish Super Lig clash between MKE Ankaragucu and Caykur Rizespor ended with a 1-1 draw at Eryaman Stadium.

In the 50th minute, Ankaragucu were down to 10 men as Ali Sowe received a second yellow card and was sent off.

Caykur Rizespor rescued a late draw with a close-range goal from Adolfo Gaich.

In the 95th minute, Caykur Rizespor’s Emirhan Topcu received a red card.

Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said on X that Koca was receiving treatment at a hospital under police supervision, adding that “detention procedures will be carried out after the treatment.”

Yerlikaya also said that two other individuals who kicked Meler in the head during the incident were detained on the instructions of the Ankara West Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the attack on the referee.

“I condemn the attack on referee Halil Umut Meler after the MKE Ankaragucu vs. Caykur Rizespor match played this evening, and I wish him a speedy recovery,” he said on X.

“Sports means peace and brotherhood. Sport is incompatible with violence. We will never allow violence to take place in Turkish sports,” Erdogan added.

Turkish Youth and Sports Minister Osman Askin Bak also condemned the attack, saying on X that “we do not want to see these images on our fields, which do not suit the spirit of sports and Turkish football.”

Executives of the Turkish Football Federation Board also decided to hold an extraordinary meeting due to the attack.