Istanbul - Turkish football authorities on Thursday banned the country's best
known player Arda Turan, on loan at Super Lig contenders Basaksehir from
Barcelona, for 16 games after he attacked a referee in the last minutes
of a game.
Turan was banned for 10 matches for attacking the
assistant referee, three matches for insulting him and another three
matches for threatening him.
"In total he is suspended for 16
matches," the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) said in a statement
following a meeting of its disciplinary committee.
He was also fined 39 000 lira ($9 200).
Turkish media said the punishment was a record.
contenders for the league title this season, had been leading 1-0 to
Sivaspor in the May 4 game but conceded a late equaliser in a major blow
to their championship hopes.
Seeking to launch a final attack
down the wing, Turan felt the assistant referee's decision had gone
against him and marched up to the official, remonstrating in his face
and then shoving him firmly back with both hands.
Turan was then given an instant red cad by the match referee and could be seen continuing to rant as he marched off the pitch.
The combative midfielder makes no secret of his admiration for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who attended his wedding.
joined Basaksehir this season on loan from Barcelona, where he had
largely endured an unhappy spell on the bench after joining from
The new incident came with Turkish football
facing one of its biggest crises in recent years after an Istanbul derby
Turkish Cup semi-final between Fenerbahce and Besiktas was abandoned
last month due to crowd violence.
Fenerbahce will face Akhisar
later on Thursday in the final after being given a walkover when Besiktas
refused to turn up to the resumption of the abandoned game.