Trabzonspor player Salih Dursun was sent off after showing the referee the red card during an argument over a penalty decision on Feb. 21 in a Spor Toto Super League game against Galatasaray.
Dursun seized his opportunity after teammate Luis Cavanda had been dismissed in the final minute of the game for bringing down striker Umut Bulut inside the penalty box.
Trabzonspor players, already reduced in number after two earlier red cards, surrounded referee Deniz Ateş Bitnel, causing him to drop his red card.
Dursun picked it up and waved it at the referee, who took it back and returned the favor, sending off the player.
Galatasaray’s Selçuk İnan successfully converted the penalty and the home side beat seven-man Trabzonspor
Trabzonspor coach Hami Mandıralı was furious at the referee after the game, but also criticized his own player.
“We came here to play football, but the entire country saw the referee’s decision,” he said.
“But whatever happens, I always tell my players to concentrate on the ball on the pitch,” the former Turkish international, who spent his entire career at Trabzonspor. “Whoever does something like Salih did, it is wrong. Such actions harm everyone.”
But Salih’s actions touched off “red card mania” among Trabzonspor
fans, with thousands of supporters uploading the photo of him showing a red card to the referee as their profile photos.
The player also received support from Bursaspor, the only club to have won the Turkish league title besides the three big Istanbul clubs and Trabzonspor.
“Salih Dursun is now a symbol for not only Trabzonspor
but also Anatolia, and he is also our son from now on,” the club, which has been engaged in a war of words with the Turkish Football Federation
(TFF) over its recent decisions and referee appointments, wrote on its official Twitter account.
announced a T-shirt bearing a photo of the iconic moment will be on sale soon at the club’s stores.
took the lead in the first half as Swedish winger Erkan Zengin scored from a penalty kick in the 25th minute.
The first red card of the game came in the 59th minute, when Trabzonspor
midfielder Özer Hurmacı was sent off after a sliding tackle against Galatasaray
left back Lionel Carole.
Dominant through much of the game, Galatasaray
equalized in the 63th minute with their German
star, Lukas Podolski. The 30-year-old forward smashed the ball into the net after trapping it in the area.
In the 70th minute, Trabzonspor
center back Aykut Demir was given his second yellow card by the referee after he argued with Podolski.
Retaining possession of the ball more after the Trabzonspor
players’ exit, Galatasaray
pressed more to score the winning goal.
The Lions were awarded a penalty near the end of the game as Bulut was brought down by Trabzonspor
defender Cavanda. İnan converted the penalty successfully in the 89th minute.
stars Podolski and Wesley Sneijder will miss the upcoming league match against Gaziantepspor after collecting their fourth yellow cards each.
Galatasaray climbed into third spot in the standings with 37 points, while Trabzonspor
is in ninth with 27.
Meanwhile, league leader Fenerbahçe
was held to a goalless draw at Bursaspor on Feb. 20.