Turkish FA Hands MKE Ankaragucu President Life Ban For Attacking Referee

Femi Onasanya By Femi Onasanya - Sports Reporter
2 Min Read

The Turkish Football Federation has permanently banned former MKE Ankaragucu president Faruk Koca for punching referee Halil Umut Meler.

After Ankaragucu and Caykur Rizespor’s Super Lig match on Monday night, Koca approached Meler and struck him in the face.

Koca was taken into custody thereafter, and the TFF said on its official website on Thursday night that the 59-year-old had been banned as a result of the incident, which had garnered international attention. The TFF also announced a number of other disciplinary measures.

After the game, Koca ran onto the field and hit the referee, who was then kicked by someone else while on the ground. Meler had sent off one player from each side before Rizespor equalised in the seventh minute of injury time to force a 1-1 draw.

Meler received treatment for wounds, including a minor fracture under his eye, and left the hospital on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Yilmaz Tunc, the nation’s minister of justice, stated on his X account that Koca had been detained “for injuring and threatening a public servant due to his public duty.” Koca later used the Ankaragucu website to announce his resignation as president.

The TFF, which has also fined Ankaragucu £54,000 and ordered them to play five games behind closed doors among other sanctions following the incident, has confirmed that matches across all of Turkey’s leagues will resume next Tuesday. Following the assault, matches were suspended across the board.

Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, denounced the attack on Thursday, saying on Sky Sports News that “this has to stop.” Like everyone else, I was taken aback when I saw the pictures.

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By Femi Onasanya Sports Reporter
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Femi is a sport enthusiast, writer and commentator. Passionate about Sports and physical therapy with a flair for writing.