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Turkish Club President arrested after punching referee in the face

InternationalFootballTurkish Club President arrested after punching referee in the face

Srinagar: In a bizarre incident from the football arena a club president in Turkey has been arrested for punching referee in the face.
Court in Turkey on Tuesday ordered the arrest of Faruk Koca, who is the President of Club Ankaragucu, for punching referee Halil Umut Meler in the face following the conclusion of a Super Lig match against Rizespor on Monday.

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) had suspended all leagues after the “shameful” incident.

Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc said Koca and two others were formally arrested for “injuring a public official” after prosecutors took statements from them.

“The investigation is continuing meticulously,” Tunc said on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter. A decision was made to impose judicial controls on three further suspects.

Koca entered the field and hit Meler when the final whistle blew after Rizespor scored a 97th minute equaliser in the 1-1 draw at Eryaman Stadium, footage from state broadcaster TRT showed.

Ankaragucu fans invaded the pitch after the game and Meler was also kicked when he fell. He eventually made it to the dressing room with the help of the police.

The federation said Ankaragucu, its chairman, club officials and all those guilty of attacking the referee will be “punished in the strongest terms possible”.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said the events that took place after the match were “totally unacceptable and have no place in our sport or society”.

“Without match officials there is no football,” he added.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on X that sport is “incompatible with violence”.

“We will never allow violence to take place in Turkish sports.”

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