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Turkish referee refuses to forgive club president for on-field assault

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Referee Halil Umut Meler has asserted that he will not forgive the president of Turkish club Ankaragucu, Faruk Koca, for physically assaulting him at the conclusion of a Super Lig match last week. 

The Turkish Football Federation’s disciplinary board responded by imposing a permanent ban on Koca after he entered the field and punched Meler when the final whistle blew, following Rizespor’s 97th-minute equalizer at Ankaragucu’s Eryaman Stadium. 

Subsequently, Meler was kicked in the head while on the pitch. 

Koca was arrested a day later, and Meler reported to the police that the club president had threatened his life. 

In an interview with Turkish news daily Hurriyet, Meler emphatically stated that he will not forgive Koca for the assault, particularly highlighting the kicking incident on the ground as an unforgettable and unforgivable act. 

“No, I did not forgive (Koca), I will not forgive,” Meler told Turkish news daily Hurriyet.

“The person who did this punched me, I collapsed and fell to the ground. But the actual kicking while I was on the ground will be something I will never forget for the rest of my life.

“That’s why, in conscience, I will never forgive. I will not forgive in any way, I will never forgive those who did it or those who provoked it,” he said

The Turkish Super Lig resumed play on Tuesday after a one-week suspension.

Referee Halil Umut Meler, in his statement to the police, revealed that Koca had not only physically assaulted him but also threatened to kill him. 

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