Referee punched- Turkish FA halts league football after club president hits Super Lig official

Turkish football bosses suspended all leagues after a referee was punched to the ground by a club president following a top-flight game on Monday.

Halil Umut Meler was struck by MKE Ankaragucu president Faruk Koca, who ran on to the pitch after his team conceded a 97th-minute equaliser in a 1-1 Super Lig draw with Caykur Rizespor.

“The matches in all leagues have been postponed indefinitely,” Turkish FA [TFF] chairman Mehmet Buyukeksi told a news conference.

“This attack is a night of shame for Turkish football,” he added.

Meler received several blows from others as he lay on the turf and suffered injuries including a minor fracture.

The incident sparked chaotic scenes involving players and club officials.

Koca required treatment in hospital but “detention procedures will be carried out after the treatment”, said Turkey’s minister of internal affairs, Ali Yerlikaya.

Yerlikaya added others had been arrested for their part in the incident, which he “strongly condemned”.

Meler, 37, is one of Turkey’s top referees and officiates international games for Fifa. He is also on Uefa’s elite referee list.

He also required hospital treatment and the chief physician of the hospital where he was treated, Dr Mehmet Yorubulut, said: “There is no life threat for the moment. He only has bleeding around his left eye and a small fracture.

“We will [monitor] our referee until the morning due to head trauma. We will discharge him from hospital after the necessary examinations in the morning.”

Referee Halil Umut Meler falls to the ground after Faruk Koca, president of MKE Ankaragucu throws a punch
Referee Halil Umut Meler also received several kicks after being knocked to the ground
Referee Halil Umut Meler's face swells after Faruk Koca, President of MKE Ankaragucu throws a punch to him following the Turkish Super Lig week 15 football match between MKE Ankaragucu and Rizespor at Eryaman Stadium in Ankara
Referee Halil Umut Meler was being kept in hospital overnight

Kesh Awefada

Kesh Awefada

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