Turkish Football News

Ex-referee boss responds to bias allegations

Referee chief of Turkish Referee Committee responds to criticism of Turkish referees

The now-departed chief of the country’s refereeing body has defended referees in Turkey despite a plethora of controversial calls this season.

The chairman of the Turkish Central Referee Committee (MHK) who resigned yesterday, Yusuf Namoglu, has defended his fellow referees in the face of criticism from the officials of several Super Lig clubs.

His decision to step down comes amid a storm of criticism regarding referee decisions, coming from the Super Lig clubs and fans.

Speaking to Turkish broadcaster NTV, Namoglu said the MHK board also handed in their resignation letters to the Turkish Football Federation (TFF).

The former referee, who had been in charge of the organization since 2011, defended fellow referees and said the MHK had “allowed those who made mistakes a leave of absence.”

Galatasaray and Fenerbahce were among the clubs complaining about referees ruining their chances to score with biased decisions.

For Namoglu, criticism toward referee Umit Ozturk was “the last straw.”

Ozturk was slammed by Trabzonspor after their 3-1 loss to Galatasaray last week. The club’s president accused the referee of making multiple mistakes including not awarding a penalty to Trabzonspor when Galatasaray’s Marcao stepped on Trabzonspor forward Ekuban’s foot.

A photo of Ozturk watching replay footage of Marcao’s clear tackle supplied by the video assistant referee (VAR) has since gone viral in Turkey.

Ozturk seeing Marcao’s tackle.

Namoglu acknowledged that there have been “mistakes” and referees could make the wrong decision despite the VAR system. However, he said it was not deliberate as claimed.

“It is about the skills of the referees. You can’t finish the career of a referee because of one wrong decision,” he said.

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