Turkish Super Lig matches suspended after ref assaulted by Ankaragücü president

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Turkish Super Lig matches suspended after ref assaulted by Ankaragücü president

Turkish football has been suspended indefinitely after a referee was brutally assaulted following a Super Lig game between Ankaragücü and Çaykur Rizespor on Monday.

Ankaragücü's 1-1 draw with Rizespor ended in chaotic fashion with the visitors having rescued a point with a dramatic 97th minute equaliser.

Ankaragücü president Faruk Koca stormed the field after the final whistle, with referee Halil Umut Meler stood next to the other match officials, and proceeded to punch the referee in the head.

He was floored from the punch, with another person kicking him in the head as the match official sought to protect himself.

The 37-year-old was thankfully able to get back to his feet, but he could be seen sporting a nasty black eye as he was escorted from the field before heading to hospital for treatment on his injuries.

The chief physician of the hospital where he was treated, Doctor Mehmet Yörübulut, told reporters:

There is no life threat for the moment. He only has bleeding around his left eye and a small fracture.

We will follow our referee until the morning due to head trauma. We will discharge him from hospital after the necessary examinations in the morning.

Late on Monday evening, the Turkish Football Federation president Mehmet Büyükekşi announced that all football within the country would be postponed indefinitely.

The matches in all leagues have been postponed indefinitely.

This attack is a night of shame for Turkish football. Football matches are not a war, there is no death at the end.

Not all teams can become champions at the same time. We all need to understand this.

We invite everyone to take responsibility. [Ankaragücü] and its managers will be punished most severely.

The country's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, also spoke out after the ugly scenes.

I condemn the attack on referee Halil Umut Meler after the MKE Ankaragücü - Çaykur Rizespor match played this evening, and I wish him a speedy recovery.

Sports means peace and brotherhood. Sport is incompatible with violence. We will never allow violence to take place in Turkish sports.

Now Turkish outlet Hurriyet have reported that Koca, who has been the president of Ankaragücü since 2021, will be detained.

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