Meireles hit with heavy 12-game ban
Fenerbahçe says it will appeal the ban on midfielder Raul Meireles (R) who will serve a 12-match suspension for insulting referee Halis Özkahya.Fenerbahçe’s Portuguese midfielder Raul Meireles will miss a majority of the season after being hit with a heavy 12-match ban by the Turkish Football Federation’s disciplinary committee.
The Professional Football Disciplinary Committee (PFDK) announced late Dec. 20 that Meireles was handed a 12-match ban for insulting and spitting at referee Halis Özkahya after being sent off during the Spor Toto Super League game between Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray.
After the red card, Meireles refused to immediately leave the pitch and argued with the referee as well as making an obscene hand gesture at him.
It was revealed that Özkahya had added in his report that Meireles had insulted him and spit at him.
The hand gesture means a sexual insult in Turkish slang, but earlier this week, the Portuguese player announced that he did not intend on making such a sexual insult and said the gesture “was not about homosexuality,” but “it meant that the referee was intimidated and made that decision out of fear.”
No apparent spitting
The television replays show that Meireles used profanity in his words, however there was no apparent spitting.
Fenerbahçe made a statement against the decision, saying the ban was not about Meireles, but it “aimed directly” at the club.
The Istanbul club added that it would appeal the ban and will take “decisions that will directly involve the Turkish football” in the future.
On Dec. 21, Fenerbahçe chairman Aziz Yıldırım made a surprise visit to the Turkish Football Federation to meet the chairman Yıldırım Demirören.