In a disturbing turn of events following the Turkish Super Lig clash between Ankaragucu and Rizespor, match referee Halil Umut Meler became the victim of a shocking assault that unfolded after the final whistle.
As the match concluded, Meler was subjected to a violent attack, with reports stating that he was punched in the face and kicked while lying on the ground in a reprehensible act against the official. The assailant delivered a forceful blow that left Meler incapacitated on the ground, followed by a kick to the head as he attempted to shield his face.
Despite the vicious assault, Meler managed to rise to his feet with the assistance of security personnel. The aftermath revealed that he had sustained a nasty black eye from the punches inflicted during the attack.
Speculations suggest that the assault may have originated from Ankaragucu’s president, Faruk Koca, who has held the position since 2021. Authorities are actively investigating the incident, with a judicial inquiry initiated to hold those responsible for the abhorrent scenes accountable, as stated by Turkey’s Minister of Justice, Yilmaz Tunc. The Ankara Police Department has been assigned the task of identifying suspects.
A video circulating on social media appears to show Meler being transported to a local hospital for medical attention, emphasizing the severity of the attack on the match official.
Expressing concern over the incident, Turkey’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Ali Yerlikaya, stated, “We are following this sad incident,” highlighting the gravity of the situation.
The Monday league meeting between Ankaragucu and Rizespor concluded in a 1-1 draw, with Olimpiu Morutan opening the scoring for Ankaragucu in the 14th minute, and Rizespor leveling deep into stoppage time with a goal from Adolfo Gaich. The match also witnessed red cards for Ankaragucu’s Ali Sowe and Rizespor’s Emirhan Topcu during the game, but the post-match assault has undoubtedly overshadowed the on-field events.
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