President of Turkish football club punches referee in the face on football field

President of Turkey's Ankaragucu football club, Faruk Koca, punched referee Halil Umut Meler in the face after the match of the 15th round of the Super League, Sabah Spor reports.

Faruk Koca punched the referee in the face knocking him down on the lawn. Several other men ran up to the referee the next moment and kicked him in the head.

The incident occurred after the final whistle. According to Koca, he wanted to spit the referee in the face, but decided to hit him not too hard. The referee was hospitalised.

"The incident occurred due to referee's incorrect decisions and provocative behaviour. My goal was to verbally respond to referee's actions and spit him in his face. Then I punched him in the face. That slap did not cause a fracture. He could stand on his feet for ten seconds before he threw himself to the ground," Faruk Koca said.

According to A Spor, the Ankaragucu president and three other participants of the fight were arrested.

Faruk Koca may face a term in prison. In addition, he could be suspended from football activities for up to two years. The term of the punishment can be doubled due to the fact that the attack on the referee happened on the football field.

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) issued a statement saying that all matches in all leagues have been postponed indefinitely.

"This inhumane and heinous attack was carried out against everyone involved in Turkish football. The culprits will serve most severe punishment," the Turkish Football Federation said.

The referee decided to end his football career.

"This job is over for me. I can't go on anymore,” Meler said.

Halil Umut Meler is 37 years old. He has been working at matches in the elite division of the Turkish Championship since 2015. In 2021, Meler refereed the Europa League match between Leicester and Spartak Moscow.

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Author`s name Andrey Mihayloff
Editor Dmitry Sudakov
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