The football world is in shock following a violent incident at the end of the Turkish Süper Lig match between MKE Ankaragücü and Çaykur Rizespor. In a scene that has grabbed international headlines, Ankaragücü President Faruk Koca physically assaulted referee Halil Umut Meler, sparking outrage and a wave of condemnation across the globe.
The match, which ended in a 1-1 draw, saw tensions boil over after the final whistle. Faruk Koca, infuriated by the outcome, stormed onto the pitch and punched referee Halil Umut Meler. The shocking scenes continued as Meler, while on the ground, was subjected to kicks by multiple assailants
International media outlets have widely covered the incident, with headlines from prominent newspapers painting a grim picture of the events.
LEQUIPE: Reported that the dramatic Super Lig match ended in chaos as Ankaragücü President Faruk Koca attacked referee Meler after a last-minute equalizing goal by Rizespor. Meler was punched to the ground and then kicked by several individuals.
MARCA: Described the incident as “unusual, shameful, and sad,” detailing how Koca jumped onto the field to attack referee Meler after a penalty call in the 97th minute.
BILD: Called it a scandal in Turkey, with the club president assaulting the referee after the match. The report highlighted the attack on Meler, who was punched in the face and kicked while on the ground.
DAILYMAIL: Reported that Ankaragücü’s President punched and kicked referee Meler in the face after the match with Rizespor. The report noted that Meler was helped to his feet by a large crowd of players, coaches, and security personnel who rushed to stop the attack.
TUTTOSPORT: Headlined the incident as a shock in Turkey, with the club president attacking the referee in an unprecedented manner.
OJOGO: Described the shocking scenes from Turkey, where Ankaragücü’s President Faruk Koca punched referee Meler after the draw with Rizespor.
ABOLA: Reported that tensions escalated after the match between Ankaragücü and Rizespor, with Ankaragücü’s President Faruk Koca attacking referee Meler.
ONEFOOTBALL: Highlighted the assault on FIFA referee Halil Umut Meler by Ankaragücü President Faruk Koca after the match ended in a draw.
DAILY RECORD: Covered the chaos during the Süper Lig match as the Turkish referee was punched by the President of Ankaragücü and knocked to the ground.
EUROFOOT: Noted that referee Halil Umut Meler was punched in the face, kicked several times while on the ground, and suffered serious eye injuries.
The incident raises serious concerns about the safety of officials in football matches and the behavior of club executives. The attack on Meler is not just an isolated event but a symptom of broader issues plaguing football, including aggression against referees and the need for stricter enforcement of conduct standards.
The football community worldwide is calling for swift and decisive action to be taken against those responsible for the assault on referee Halil Umut Meler. The incident has not only marred the reputation of Turkish football but has also sparked a global discussion on the protection and respect of match officials in the sport.
It has been revealed that Ankaragücü President Faruk Koca was awarded the Fair Play/Good Sportsmanship President/Executive Award by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF).
Koca, who was an AKP (Justice and Development Party) Member of Parliament in the 22nd and 23rd terms, won 802 out of 1058 votes in Ankaragücü’s last election and took the presidency in 2021.
The AKP, or Justice and Development Party, is a political party in Turkey. It was founded in 2001 by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and others. The party is generally considered to be conservative and has Islamic roots, though it also incorporates elements of liberalism and pro-Western policies. Since its establishment, the AKP has been a major political force in Turkey, with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan serving as Prime Minister and later as President of Turkey.