Galatasaray technical director Fatih Terim got into a rage for the second time this season after his team fell behind last-place Mersin Idman Yurdu 0-1 soon after kickoff and were later reduced to ten men following a red card in the 30th minute. The experienced coach finally erupted uncontrollably before the final whistle of the first half drawing a red card from the referee. He was accompanied by his assistant coaches, Hasan Sas and Umit Davala, with second-half ejections.
The incident was the second time in forty days Terim was sent off after his players trailed in the first half. He was ejected after harassing the referee during half time in the match against Orduspor on February 25th as he watched his team go into the locker room trailing by two goals. In that match, Galatasaray assistant coach Sas was also booked and sent into the stands.
However, the 59-year old Galatasaray boss may have taken it a bit too far this time as he seemed to keep assaulting the referee, Suleyman Abay, along with nearly everyone else around him.
The “Imparator”, as Galatasaray fans like to call him, effectively bullied the referees and the opposing sides in both matches into submission and turned possible point losses into victories, 4-2 and 3-1 respectively.
The Turkish coach has a history of embarrassing moments, including violent behavior at the end of the Turkey-Switzerland match in World Cup 2006 qualifiers. He would have lead Turkey to World Cup finals had his side won by three goals, yet the Turks could only manage a 4-2 win.
Fatih Terim was similarly suspended for three matches last season with two matches remaining, one which would have been against arch-rivals Fenerbahce in what constituted a championship face-off, but the sanction was deferred for a probationary period of one year. His team managed to eke out a Superlig title with a scoreless road draw against Fenerbahce.
Terim was not much different as a player. His retirement from football in 1985 also came at the heels of a red card after he attacked and then spat at the referee, Hamza Alan, following a red card shown to teammate Erdal Keser for cursing. The defender had to be escorted off the field by the police after refusing to leave the field.
Ensuing the incident, Terim was reportedly forced by Ali Uras, Galatasaray chairman at the time, to retire from football at age 32. Uras called his players’ behavior “disgraceful” and arranged for his feisty player to apologize to the referee, reducing his suspension to five matches as a result and consequently helping Terim stay in the world of Turkish football avoiding a longer ban that would have prevented him from initiating his successful coaching career. For the record, Erdal Keser got two matches.
Turkish football spectators are curious to see what type of punishment will be seen appropriate by the Turkish Football Federation this time around.
Galatasaray chairman Unal Aysal met with the TFF chairman Yildirim Demiroren three days after his coach’s Orduspor ejection in an apparent and successful attempt to demand the lightest possible sanction. Terim received three matches in total for what should have been the sum of the infractions from the 2011-12 season and in this season’s Ordu match.
On Wednesday, April 8, Aysal, accompanied with two other Galatasaray executives, again visited the TFF and met with Demiroren. Turkish football fans are curious to see if preferential treatment will continue for Turkey’s “Imperatore” with the final six weeks of the Turkish Superlig in sight.
Fenerbahce’s Portuguese star Raul Meireles had his 11-match (plus one for double-yellow red card) ban for spitting and allegedly making an offensive gesture at a referee reduced to four after a Turkish Football Federation appeal commission ruling.
The commission watched more than six hours of video footage of the incident during the derby with Galatasaray on December 16 and concluded that while the former Chelsea and Liverpool midfielder was guilty of insulting the official, he did not spit at him.
“As the player carried on talking throughout the entire incident, it would not have been physically possible for him to have spat,” the commission ruled in a statement posted on the Federation website.
Meireles, 29, had already picked up a one-match suspension for two yellow cards he received in the Galatasaray game and the commission upheld the decision to fine him 20,000 Turkish pounds (8,400 euros).
The midfielder has always protested his innocence and club officials backed him up, insisting he had not spat at the referee.
He was also supported by several members of the Portuguese national team, including national captain Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I am very happy because I proved that I did not spit at the referee,” said Meireles.
“Justice has been done. I have always said that I deserve to be punished for something I have done, not for what I didn’t do.”
TFF Appeals Board delays Meireless decision indicating 12-match suspension was issued without thorough examination
On Saturday, the Turkish Football Federation Appeals Board, the ultimate judicial authority in Turkish football, postponed its decision on Fenerbahce’s appeal for the 12-match ban of their new Portuguese transfer Raul Meireles, who testified before the board with his translator and attorneys present. Citing the need to request from the broadcasting company all videos of the incident in hand from all possible angles, the board will meet on Thursday to decide whether referee Halis Ozkahya’s claims in his match report are valid.
The request for the match footage naturally raises concerns that the TFF disciplinary board (PDFK) may have made its harsh decision without a careful examination of the incident. Did the PDFK members walk into their meeting with preconceived notions or even worse, with prejudgment?
Let us see the footage of the incident again: (VIDEO)
Raul Meireles’ face-off with referee Halis Ozkahya from two angles
Having received his first-ever red card, Raul Meireles appears to have lost his cool and confronts the referee, “perhaps emphatically” as he himself has put it… Nonetheless, looking at both angles, the reverse angle supports the account given by the midfielder as there is no spitting and his gesture does not seem to signify homosexuality, instead looks more like he is accusing Ozkahya of giving into crowd intimidation as the Portuguse has stated in interviews…
Raul Meireles’ second yellow card
Match footage showed that the second yellow card appeared to be warranted as Meireles pulled on the arm of Yekta Kurtulus. However, the same foul was committed against the Fenerbahce midfielder and not whistled by Ozkahya shortly before, frustrating the midfielder and his head coach.
As one can see, Raul Meireles is pulled by Yekta Kurtulus with no foul called and then red-carded (second yellow) when he does it back to the same player less than a minute later… The only difference is the dive by the Galatasaray player.
Turkish Football Federation’s PFDK (Professional Football Disciplinary Board) issued a record 12-match ban, including the routine one-match ban for being sent off due to two yellow cards, on former Liverpool and Chelsea midfielder Raul Meireles for allegedly spitting at the referee and insulting him during the derby against archrival Galatasaray last weekend.
The Portugese international, who joined Fenerbahce from Chelsea in the summer, was sent-off after collecting a second yellow card in the tight 2-1 defeat. Referee Halis Ozkahya accused Meireles of spitting at him as he challenged the decision as well as making a homosexual gesture in his direction, both claims denied by the player.
“I’m really annoyed at being accused of spitting at the referee. I have an eight-year-old child, can you imagine if kids at school start saying your father spat at a referee? This could ruin my reputation in the eyes of my child.” Meireles said, “”I have been turned into a defendant and punished for something I did not do.”
“I don’t know what the hand gesture for calling somebody gay is in Turkey but what I did was entirely based around the referee being a coward and bowing to the pressure. The referee’s accusations are outrageous and defamatory. I will be taking legal action against him to prove my innocence,” he continued.
The match footage showed that the second yellow card appeared to be warranted as Meireles pulled on the arm of Yekta Kurtulus. However, the same foul was committed against the Fenerbahce midfielder and not whistled by Ozkahya shortly before, frustrating the midfielder and his head coach (VIDEO)
Having received his first-ever red card, Raul Meireles appeared to have lost his cool and confronted the referee, “perhaps emphatically” as he himself put it… Nonetheless, looking at both angles, the reverse angle supported the account of the midfielder as there was no spitting and his gesture did not seem to signify homosexuality, instead looked more like he was accusing Ozkahya of giving into crowd intimidation as the Portuguse stated… (VIDEO)
TFF Appeals Board, which has the final say, will decide on the case on Saturday, December 22, 2012. It is everyone’s hope now that the board will stick to reason and come up with a just decision after seeing that neither spitting nor a homophobic gesture took place. One match in addition to the regular one-match suspension due to double yellow should be in order. Any other decision will be questioned, and the Turkish Football Federation monitored… by the public at the very least.
It is time for the Turkish Football Federation and its referees to get their act together and manage Turkish football responsibly. Let us remind that Turkey’s FIFA ranking was 5th in 2004, 14th in 2008 and has now dropped to 38th.
Turkish football team Fenerbahçe will be allowed to compete in this year’s Champions League, UEFA announced today.
Fener fans were overjoyed by UEFA’s call to allow the team to compete.
The club had been going through a rough patch over the past year as a result of a match-fixing scandal that had already seen it banned from last year’s Champions League.
Over the weekend, Galatasaray and Trabzonspor, teams also involved in legal troubles over the nationwide match-fixing cases, were cleared to play in European competitions.
Beşiktaş, Bursaspor and Gaziantepspor, was all excluded from playing in European competitions for financial misdemeanors, although the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) lifted Bursa’s ban earlier today.
Turkish giants Fenerbahce got the go-ahead to participate in next season’s Champions League on Friday despite ongoing legal proceedings against several club officials regarding their involvement in a widespread match-fixing scandal.
“UEFA’s Control and Disciplinary committee has decided to admit our club to the 2012-13 Champions League,” read a statement from the club’s management on the Fenerbahce website, which added that they had been notified of the decision on Friday by UEFA.
The move comes with club president Aziz Yildirim still in custody in an Istanbul prison awaiting a verdict along with 92 other officials.
The investigation, which began in the spring of 2011, focusses on suspicions of cheating during first and second division matches during the 2010-11 season.
Last month the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) cleared 16 clubs and dozens of suspects but condemned eight club officials and two players to suspensions ranging from one to three years.
The scandal shocked Turkish football and led the TFF to exclude Fenerbahce from Europe’s top club competition last season.
The Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors has removed the special powers of Mehmet Berk, the prosecutor for the contorversial match-fixing and Sledghammer cases. Hundreds have been jailed pending trial and without a conviction in the two tirals in which defendants have not been given the opportunity to fully present their case due to the apparent improprieties committed by the Special Authority judges, who are virtually unchecked in the Special Authority Court system. Both the Prime Minister and President of Turkey, joining prior press freedom concerns by the EU representatives and the US Ambassador to Turkey, expressed dissatisfaction about the unaccountability of the Special Authority Courts and the resulting long detention terms.
Prosecutor Berk said that he was expecting such a decision as his four-year term expired. He just did not know whether the decision had to do with the match-fixing case, which suffered from scant evidence despite all the hoopla in the media.
The prosecutor said that a year passed since the start of the match-fixing process and that a lot was written and said while comments were made based upon them. However, he added that 90% everything written and expressed in the news were made up of lies and false reporting.
The former executive board of the Turkish Football Federation used the news in the media as grounds for banning the 2010-11 Turkish Superlig champions from the Champions League, claiming that the UEFA told the Turkish federation that the news in media were sufficient. The club’s president, Aziz Yildirim, has been in jail since early July 2011 despite the fact that the disciplinary committees of the newly elected TFF (late February) finally cleared all implicated clubs as well as Yildirim from any wrongdoing following its investigation.
Mehmet Berk noted that he was also a Fenerbahce fan and that he had to perform his duties against the very people with whom he had tea and lunch. It was sad thing, he said, to do what he had to do. he did not think he was worn out, but reminded that the closure of the Special Authority Courts was currently being discussed.