HomeAnkaragucu president Faruk Koca arrested for punching referee

Ankaragucu president Faruk Koca arrested for punching referee

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Ankaragucu president Faruk Koca has been arrested after punching a referee in the face after Monday’s Turkish Super Lig draw with Rizespor, the country’s justice minister has confirmed.

Koca and several other club officials stormed onto the field at the end of the bad-tempered contest, which finished 1-1 after Rizespor striker Adolfo Gaich scored a stoppage-time equaliser.

Koca was seen to floor referee Halil Umut Meler – who also officiates in the UEFA Champions League – with a punch to the face before another man aimed a kick at the grounded official’s head.

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The Turkish Football Federation announced all leagues would be suspended indefinitely in response to the “despicable” attack, also blaming mainstream criticism of match officials for encouraging the violent scenes.

Their statement, issued via social media, also promised harsh punishments for the perpetrators, and it was confirmed on Tuesday that Koca and two other suspects had been arrested.

Writing on X, formerly known as Twitter, justice minister Yilmaz Tunc confirmed arrest warrants had been issued for Koca and two other individuals, who had been remanded in custody.

“We are against violence in sports, as in every area,” Tunc said. “It is not possible for us to accept the attack on the referee after the Ankaragucu-Rizespor match.

“An arrest warrant was issued for the suspects who carried out the attack. We will follow the course of the investigation meticulously.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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