Süper Lig race continues amid row over referee
Turkish Süper Lig leader Beşiktaş will visit Kasımpaşa on April 4 amid a debate over the game’s referee.
The Central Referee Committee (MHK), in charge of referee appointments, announced earlier this week that Halil Umut Meler, who was fiercely criticized by Beşiktaş following a 1-1 draw against Fenerbahçe on March 21, would officiate in the club’s Kasımpaşa match.
“We wonder with what motives the MHK assigned Halil Umut Meler to our Super League match for the second time in a row, both after the announcement of our coach and in an unprecedented manner in history,” the club said in a written statement on April 1.
“We hope that this assignment has a reasonable explanation,” the club added. “We urgently expect an explanation from the MHK.”
Following the Fenerbahçe game, which was the club’s last game before the international break, Beşiktaş coach Sergen Yalçın harshly criticized Meler.
Yalçın said Meler “did everything to get Fenerbahçe back in the game.”
“We are not happy with the referee, I hope we do not see him in the Beşiktaş games again,” Yalçın said.
“We do not want to play with referees who give such interesting decisions,” he added.
The league leader is also facing problems due to injuries and COVID-19.
Wingers Rachid Ghezzal and Ajdin Hasic returned to the club injured from their international games, while midfielder Dorukhan Toköz and striker Cenk Tosun will be out after positive COVID-19 tests.
While Beşiktaş hopes to return to winning ways following the Fenerbahçe draw, second-placed Galatasaray travels to Hatayspor on April 3.
Despite making a fast start to the season, Hatayspor lost three in a row before a draw in its last game and wants to prove its credentials against a tough opponent.
Galatasaray, meanwhile, will be without Fatih Terim on the sidelines after the experienced coach was suspended for two games for “insulting members of the opposing team.”
Fenerbahçe, on the other hand, hosts struggling Denizlispor in the final game of the week on April 5.
Elsewhere in the Süper Lig, Kayserispor hosts Göztepe, Trabzonspor visits Sivasspor and Rizespor takes on Karagümrük at home on April 3.
In April 4’s games, Erzurumspor plays at home with Konyaspor, Antalyaspor travels to Ankaragücü, Başakşehir entertains Malatyaspor and Gençlerbirliği visits Alanyaspor.