Turkish football suspended following club President’s attack on referee

Football in Turkey has been thrust into chaos as the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) has decided to suspend all matches indefinitely after MKE Ankaragucu’s president, Faruk Koca, physically assaulted referee Halil Umut Meler.

The shocking incident occurred after a Super Lig match where Meler, amid controversial decisions, allowed an injury-time equalizer for opponents Caykur Rizespor, resulting in a 1-1 draw.

The reprehensible attack on Meler has sparked widespread condemnation, including from Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The TFF issued a statement denouncing the assault as a “despicable attack” and emphasized that all matches in various leagues would be postponed until further notice.

The TFF condemned the atmosphere of hostility toward referees in Turkish football, citing irresponsible statements from club officials, managers, coaches, and media commentators.

The federation vowed to implement criminal proceedings against those responsible for the attack and its instigators.

Referee Halil Umut Meler, a 37-year-old UEFA official with experience in high-profile matches, was subjected to repeated kicks while on the ground during the post-match assault. The assailant, Faruk Koca, and others involved are expected to face severe punishment.

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