Turkish Football in Chaos: League Matches Suspended Indefinitely After Referee Assault

By Xorkpe Sosu 3 Min Read

Indefinite suspension has been imposed on League matches in Turkey following a shocking incident in which a referee was physically assaulted.

The disturbing event occurred after the Ankaragucu and Rizespor match ended in a 1-1 draw at Eryaman Stadium in the Turkish capital, Ankara, on Monday night.

The chaos ensued after a seventh-minute stoppage time equalizer.

We're now on WhatsApp. Click here to join.

Halil Umut Meler, the match referee, and his assistants were standing at the final whistle when they were attacked by Ankaragucu president Faruk Koca.

Read Also: Calls for Change: Pochettino Seeks Squad Overhaul After Chelseaโ€™s Loss to Evertonโ€

Koca rushed towards Meler, delivering a right hook that knocked the referee to the ground. Subsequently, an unidentified individual kicked the referee’s face while he was still down.

Players and staff from both teams formed a protective cordon around Meler as Koca was removed from the scene. The shaken referee was then assisted to his feet.

UEFA Elite Referee Attacked: Halil Umut Meler's Assault Sparks Football Crisis in Turkey

Following the incident, it was reported that Koca was later assaulted and subsequently taken to the hospital under police supervision, leading to the suspension of league matches in Turkey indefinitely.

The disturbing events have thrown the domestic football scene in Turkey into disarray, prompting the Turkish Football Federation to declare an indefinite suspension of all league matches in the country.

Ankaragucu had initially taken a 1-0 lead with Olimpiu Morutan’s goal in the 14th minute, but their situation worsened when Ali Sowe received a red card five minutes into the second half.

Rizespor’s Emirhan Topcu was also sent off five minutes into added time.

Despite appearing poised to maintain their lead, the home side conceded a late equalizer by Adolfo Gaich in the dying moments, securing a 1-1 draw. Notably, Rizespor featured former England, Liverpool, and Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey.

Following the on-field brawl, reports indicate that Ankaragucu president Faruk Koca was subsequently attacked.

Halil Umut Meler, aged 37, is a member of UEFA’s elite list of referees. He has a track record of officiating in prestigious competitions such as the UEFA Europa League.

Turkish Football in Chaos: League Matches Suspended Indefinitely After Referee Assault

Additionally, Meler was entrusted with overseeing the first leg of West Ham’s Conference League semi-final against AZ Alkmaar in the previous season.

The incident garnered attention from Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was quoted in Turkish media condemning the assault on referee Halil Umut Meler.

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

“Sports means peace and brotherhood. Sports are incompatible with violence. We will never allow violence to take place in Turkish sports.”

“We wish the entire referee community, especially the referee of the match, Halil Umut Meler, to get well soon.”

For team news, transfers, etc, visit our Latest Sports News Page. Follow our Website: On WhatsApp || Twitter || Facebook ||ย Telegram || Townflex ||ย Townflex || YouTube 1 || YouTube 2 ||ย Google News ||

Share This Article