The 2018-2019 season of the Turkish Super Lig has been a complete failure for the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) and the Central Refereeing Committee (MHK) as trust in the two organizations’ abilities has reached an all-time low.
Certain teams have continuously manipulated referees in their favor and, now, there is literally no referee left who has not been accused of being corrupt.
Regardless, neither the TFF nor the MHK have taken the necessary actions in order to prevent teams from creating and benefiting from the chaos that currently exists in Turkish football. In fact, they have let the traditional powerhouses of Turkish football destroy the referees one by one.
It seems as if the cat is already out of the bag for Turkish football, and what once only disturbed “idealists” now disturbs everyone. Transparency, accountability and integrity need to be a part of the solution if Turkish football is to ever move up the rankings. One would assume that with the introduction of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology controversial decisions would be largely eliminated.
However, a quick look at the headlines in Turkey after last weekend’s Super Lig fixtures sums up the situation quite well.
“They (TFF) murdered Turkish football. The only unjust football in the world is played in Turkey.” — that is the quote of a well-known commentator from Turkey following the recent controversial Rizespor-Galatasaray game.
Konyaspor coach Aykut Kocaman, after watching several calls go against his team during their clash with Trabzonspor, suggested to rename the league due to it’s clear bias.
“Let’s rename the league to the Big Guns League. They are protected by the referees each and every week,” Kocaman told reporters in the post-game conference.
Istanbul Basaksehir president Goksel Gumusdag also expressed his frustration with the irregularities in the league.
“I trust my team but I do not trust factors outside of the pitch,” Gumusdag said.
Caykur Rizespor president Hasan Kartal had a public meltdown in Rize after seeing his side lose 3-2 to Galatasaray under controversial terms.
Speaking to reporters outside of his team’s stadium after the game, Kartal blasted the TFF and those in charge. He went as far to claim that he would have shot the referee if he had his gun.
The question remains, however; will anything change in the upcoming season of the Turkish Super Lig? Or will the blatant corruption continue to plague the beloved sport of the nation’s 80 million people?
Week after week, referees exhibit clear bias during games with no repercussions.. If the powers that be wish to improve the image of the league, they must stomp out the corruption that currently plagues Turkish football.
Otherwise, the winner of the Turkish Super Lig will continue to be decided before the season has even begun, as has been the case for many years.