WATCH: Referee attacked by club president in on-field incident

The Turkish Super Lig plunged into chaos as Ankaragucu president Faruk Koca physically attacked match referee Halil Umut Meler on the field. The disgraceful incident unfolded after the club’s draw against Rizespor, resulting in the suspension of the Super Lig indefinitely.

Abhorrent images captured the moment Koca’s fist connected with the referee’s face, sending Meler to the ground. As Meler lay prone, others joined in, delivering a series of kicks. The disturbing scenes, condemned by Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left Meler with a swollen eye and raised concerns about violence in Turkish sports.

The on-field assault occurred after Rizespor’s last-minute equalizer secured a 1-1 draw against Ankaragucu. The unexpected turn of violence followed an already intense match, leaving spectators and players stunned. The Turkish Football Federation initiated a judicial investigation against those responsible for the attack, with Turkey’s Minister of Justice, Yilmaz Tunc, overseeing the process.

Faruk Koca, under police guard in the hospital, faces detention procedures. The attack prompted strong condemnation from various authorities, including Turkey’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Ali Yerlikaya, and President Erdogan, who emphasized that sports should embody peace and brotherhood, devoid of violence.

The football community, represented by the Turkish Football Federation, expressed collective dismay. TFF Chairman Mehmet Buyukeksi declared that those involved in the incident would face consequences, emphasizing that Turkish football had been “punched shamefully.”

Both Ankaragucu and Rizespor issued statements, with Ankaragucu apologizing for the “sad incident” and Rizespor calling for “no violence in sports.” The incident has sparked debates on social media, with widespread condemnation of the attack on referee Halil Umut Meler.

As the Super Lig faces an indefinite suspension and authorities investigate the attack, the incident serves as a stark reminder of the need to uphold sportsmanship and fair play on and off the field.