Referee Halil Umut Meler was punched in the face by Ankaragucu president Faruk Koca at the end of a Turkish Super Lig match on Monday evening.
Ankaragucu hosted Rizespor at the Eryaman Stadium and appeared on course to win the game before Adolfo Gaich equalised for the visitors in injury time.
Ankaragucu’s forward Ali Sowe was also sent off in the 50th minute, which sparked an angry response from the home supporters.
Immediately after the final whistle, Koca stormed towards Meler and punched him in the face, which floored the Turkish official.
Two other men who had also ran on to the pitch with Koca then kicked Meler in the head while he was down on the ground.
Ankaragucu’s Serbian defender Uros Radakovic was among the players who immediately stepped in to help protect the referee.
Meler was helped to his feet but television cameras revealed that he had suffered severe swelling to his left eye following the assault.
Osman Aşkın Bak, Turkey’s minister of youth and sports, condemned the attack on the referee.
‘I strongly condemn the attack on the referee of the match, Halil Umut Meler, at the end of the MKE Ankaragucu-Caykur Rizespor match,’ Bakl wrote on X.
‘We do not want to see these images on our fields, which do not suit the spirit of sports and Turkish football.’
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