A TURKISH top-flight club’s president has been detained by police after shockingly PUNCHING a referee and leaving him needing hospital treatment.
And a judicial investigation “has been launched against those responsible” for the unprovoked assault, says Turkey’s Minister of Justice, Yilmaz Tunc.
Ankaragucu’s president Faruk Koca punched a referee at full-time tonightCredit: Getty
Ref Halil Umut Meler was floored after being struck by the Turkish chiefCredit: Getty
The official was then disgracefully kicked while he was on the ground
Halil Umut Meler already had a huge black eye as security escorted him off the pitchCredit: Getty
The disgraceful incident took place today following Ankaragucu’s 1-1 draw with Rizespor.
Olimpiu Morutan broke the deadlock for the hosts after just 14 minutes.
Rizespor snatched a point right at the death as Adolfo Gaich grabbed an equaliser.
The bad-tempered Turkish Super Lig clash showdown also included two red cards with both Ankaragucu’s Ali Sowe and Rizespor Emirhan Topcu receiving their marching orders.
But more trouble followed after full-time when ref Halil Umut Meler was confronted by an irate Faruk Koca, the president of Ankaragucu.
Explosive footage shows him swinging and connecting with a punch at the unsuspecting official.
Meler fell to the floor after being struck, and he was then disgustingly kicked by another unidentified person while trying to protect his face.
A group of players, coaching staff and security raced to the scene to stop the attack from going even further, before the visibly shaken Meler eventually was helped to his feet.
And as he made his way off the pitch, a huge black eye was already visible, with various media outlets claiming he is now in hospital receiving treatment for his injuries.
BeIN Sports, who are the Super Lig’s official broadcast partner, have now reported that the Turkey Football Federation are holding an extraordinary meeting.
And the vile attack has also been condemned by Turkey’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Osman Askin Bak.
A post on his social media attack read: “We do not want to see these images on our fields, which do not suit the spirit of sports and Turkish football.”
Tunc also added that the Ankara Police Department have been tasked with identifying suspects.
Now Turkish outlet Hurriyet have reported that Koca will be detained.
The 59-year-old has been the president of Ankaragucu since 2021 and was awarded the Fair Play manager of the month award in October 2022.
Meanwhile, Minister of Internal Affairs, Ali Yerlikaya, added: “We are following this sad incident.”
Former Newcastle and Liverpool star Jonjo Shelvey, who signed from Nottingham Forest last summer, played the full game for Rizespor.
As the shock footage went viral, Fenerbahce’s Turkish international ace Umut Nayir slammed the disgusting scenes and took aim at a wider issue.
He posted on social media: “A mentality that considers itself to be right no matter what is said or done to the referee has surrounded us.
“You destroyed the most vulnerable factor in football with your pressure, day by day, together. You put the burden of your failures on them. Shame on you.
“I’m ashamed of the situation you’ve put us in.”