Ankaragucu president PUNCHES referee in the face after Turkish Super Lig draw with Rizespor, with others kicking official in the head in disgraceful scenes

The president of Turkish Super Lig club Ankaragucu punched a referee in the face after storming onto the pitch following his side’s draw with Rizespor.

After the final whistle, Halil Umut Meler was confronted by a visibly furious Faruk Koca, who aimed a punch at the official in abhorrent footage caught on camera. 

Meler dropped to the floor and was then kicked by another person while he looked to protect his face. After being led away, he was seen sporting a swollen left eye.

BeIN Sports, the Super Lig’s official broadcaster, reported shortly after the incident that the Turkey Football Federation decided to hold an extraordinary meeting.

The match, held on Monday evening, finished 1-1. 

Olimpiu Morutan opened the scoring in the 14th minute before drama struck, with hosts Ankaragucu reduced to 10 men after Ali Sowe’s second-half dismissal.

Emirhan Topcu was also sent off for Rizespor in the 95th minute, though the visitors netted a last-gasp equaliser through Adolfo Gaich on the cusp of the final whistle. 

The attack has been condemned by Minister of Youth and Sports, Osman Askin Bak. 

Bak, posting on X, wrote: ‘I strongly condemn the attack on the referee of the match, Halil Umut Meler, at the end of the MKE Ankaragucu-Caykur Rizespor match.

‘We do not want to see these images on our fields, which do not suit the spirit of sports and Turkish football.’

Koca, 59, has been the president of Ankaragucu since 2021. He received the Fair Play manager of the month award in October 2022. 

More to follow.