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Ankaragucu president Faruk Koca given permanent ban for punching referee, says Turkish FA

MKE Ankaragucu president Faruk Koca has received a permanent ban for punching referee Halil Umut Meler, says the Turkish Football Federation.

Ankaragucu have also been fined two million liraexternal-link (£54,000) and ordered to play five home games without any fans.

All Turkish league football was suspended after Monday’s incident.

The TFF has since decided that games will resume on Tuesday, 19 December after a one-week suspension.

Meler received several blows from others as he lay on the turf and suffered injuries including a minor fracture.

The 37-year-old is one of Turkey’s top referees and officiates international games for Fifa. He is also on Uefa’s elite referee list.

He was taken to hospital for treatment for his injuries before being released on Wednesday.

Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc said Koca and two others were formally arrested for “injuring a public official”.

Koca later issued a statement via Ankaragucu saying he had resigned as club president and apologising for his actions.

“No matter how great an injustice or how wrong [the officiating] was, nothing can legitimise or explain the violence that I perpetrated,” he said.

“I apologise to the Turkish refereeing community, the sports public and our nation.”

He added he felt “great embarrassment” for the “grave incident that I caused” but hoped it could help Turkish football address its “culture of violence”.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino said the incident was “totally unacceptable” and violence had “no place in our sport or society”.

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