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Fenerbahçe Supreme Council Board President Uğur Dündar’s statement…

Fenerbahçe Supreme Council Board President Uğur Dündar commented on the incident where Faruk Koca, the president of MKE Ankaragücü, punched referee Halil Umut Meler during the MKE Ankaragücü-Çaykur Rizespor match.

In the 15th week of the Trendyol Super League, MKE Ankaragücü faced Çaykur Rizespor. After the match ended 1-1, MKE Ankaragücü President Faruk Koca entered the field and punched referee . Supreme Council Board President made statements about the incident that shook the Turkish football agenda.

“Wishing Halil Umut Meler a speedy recovery”

Uğur Dündar said, “What happened last night were scenes we wish not to see on the football fields. First of all, I send my wishes for a speedy recovery to Mr. Halil Umut Meler, I wish him urgent healing. The incident last night is condemnable from every perspective, and it is an incident that we never want to see again on our fields” he stated.

“Football is actually a pleasure, a 90 minutes to be enjoyed”

Dündar said, “Football is peace, friendship, brotherhood. It is an exciting activity with universal messages. We played a derby match at 's field last Saturday and won 3-1. When we, as the Fenerbahçe delegation, go, we usually sit side by side with Beşiktaş Council President Mr. Tevfik Yamantürk and Mr. Hinginar, his friend. Tevfik Bey and I discussed this: Football is actually a pleasure, a 90 minutes to be enjoyed. We need to explain this to everyone. It was as if he had seen this incident that could happen beforehand and spoke words with the instinct to prevent it” he said.

Uğur Dündar stated, “Yesterday, we had our traditional friendship dinner with the high councils of the clubs that had won the championship in the Super League at our Faruk Ilgaz Facilities. Galatasaray, Beşiktaş, Trabzonspor, , were our guests. As the President of the Fenerbahçe High Council, my friends and I had the honor and joy of hosting them as hosts. We had lunch. Our President Mr. and our General Secretary also attended the meeting” he said.

“We should put our hands under the stone on the structural problems of Turkish sports”

Uğur Dündar said, “It went in a very sincere atmosphere, and we made such a principle decision; From now on, we, as High Council Presidents and delegations, as the gray-haired people of our communities, as experienced individuals, must put our hands under the stone on the structural problems of Turkish sports and bring solutions. Everyone agreed on this matter” he stated.

Dündar said, “Later, I thought about what could be done, and I shared the following message in the WhatsApp group I created with the Council Presidents: ‘Dear Presidents, Turkish sports, especially football, has structural problems waiting for solutions. We must present these to President Erdogan, explain them, and then, if he gives such an appointment and speaks with us, we must explain to the public what the solution proposals could be with a declaration.' I said this, shared it, and unfortunately, this incident happened at night” he said.

Fenerbahçe bus attack
In 2015, Fenerbahçe football team's bus, returning from an away match, was subjected to an armed attack by unidentified individuals. While the bus driver was injured, the football team players and the entourage narrowly escaped a major disaster. The attackers responsible for the assault have still not been apprehended.

“It is an incident that encourages attackers because the perpetrators who shot our team have not been found”

Dündar said, “It is not yet found out who shot our team, which was a very serious assassination attempt. If the bus driver had lost control, it would have fallen off the cliff, and Turkey would have faced a great disaster. The fact that the perpetrator has not yet been found is really a sad situation from a legal point of view, and it is an incident that encourages attackers” he said.

“It is being swept under the rug, ignored”

Dündar said, “I remember an incident like this. Years ago, when I was working at TRT, a referee was severely beaten and fell into a coma in the lower leagues. The headline of the local newspaper was exactly like this: ‘There is no sportsmanship left on the fields.' What is happening in the lower leagues, but since they are not very popular clubs, it does not reflect the same way to the public. Those who manage football should not sweep some problems under the rug in a sense. It is being swept under the rug, ignored. Documented and issues that need to be addressed are being overlooked. It is left to the expectation of ‘let's get through this week, let's see what happens next' shape. Therefore, these accumulate in the fan masses, and a constant perception of injustice emerges. These need to be evaluated very well” he said.

“The necessary punishment is not applied in any way”

Dündar said, “At the moment, all football stakeholders need to look at the incident in a very calm manner and develop statements as responsible individuals so that these do not manifest themselves in the future. England has fulfilled the requirement of violence in sports. In England, if a person who acts hooliganism or aggression on the football field cannot find a place on the field again, he can definitely pay the price in prison. In the past, some measures were taken, laws were enacted. Where those who make bad chants and curse in the stadium would be identified as a point, cameras would identify them. What happened? None of them happened. Clubs report them, but the necessary punishment is not applied in any way. It remains on paper” he said.

“Does referee Halil Umut Meler face a disciplinary penalty in international organizations because he has a FIFA badge?”

Responding to the question, Dündar said, “No, I don't think so. I am not saying this to compare. In Greece, a club president attacked the referee by pulling a gun. Therefore, I don't think there will be a penalty for us when there is no such penalty there. But all football stakeholders should condemn this incident as a whole and fulfill their responsible behaviors to prevent it from happening again” he said.

“Fenerbahçe has been greatly victimized”

Dündar said, “Those who know our President Ali Koç closely know that he is always in favor of friendship, peace, and love. We also held these council meetings as guests of Galatasaray, Beşiktaş Council President. Ali Koç also attended our meal as the host. There, we talked together for about an hour, and he made an effort for a consensus on how to address our common problems. In that environment, I saw how diligent Ali Koç is in contributing to friendship and solving our problems. In addition, we, Fenerbahçe, have been greatly victimized. We fell into the FETÖ trap. While Fenerbahçe has a global financial value, it was broken, pruned as a result of the match-fixing trap, if it were another club, it would have taken down its signboard, not having such a wide fan base and not having roots from the Kuva-yi Milliye. It had a very heavy bill for us. Then our team being shot in Trabzon. Then Fenerbahçe being at the center of unjust treatment that everyone sees. Our President also emphasized that measures need to be taken to prevent such incidents from happening last night. He said, ‘If you continue to sweep some of the documented issues we have raised under the rug, unexpected events will happen one day,' in the sense that these words were said. Everyone reads this with common sense. Indeed, we have come to this point unfortunately. These words were spoken to warn all authorities and to shake them for the incidents that we all condemn. I was there at those meetings. Should I believe what I heard or what was said? This accusation made against Ali Koç is extremely unfair, extremely unjust, extremely wrong. Already at the end of the sentence, he said, ‘Express your reaction democratically, and do not take what I said elsewhere.' Unfortunately, it became a perception created by cutting some of it and ignoring the continuation. I don't want to underline what our competitors say, but I'll mention one. ‘If these referee mistakes continue, we will not finish this league,' they said. This means it smells of a threat, not a threat. Everyone should behave responsibly here. In order for such incidents not to happen again, everyone should fulfill their responsibilities. The President of the Federation, especially the president of the federation, must give a definite guarantee that justice will be established. I find his statements last night impulsive. We all felt great pain from the incident. Should a young referee, even if he made a wrong decision, be punched, and should he be ruthlessly kicked while lying on the ground? Absolutely not, never. It is possible. It is the natural right of all of us to expect the President of the Federation to have a pacifying, football public, and reassuring approach. Such incidents can happen in any society. Also, Ankaragücü is our club that gave the most martyrs in the national struggle. For this to be a turning point, everyone must put their hands under the stone. As Council Presidents, we can publish a declaration. In the context of a constructive approach, we can propose both the problems and solutions of our football world. I think tranquility can be possible with the participation of our President in this regard. As club presidents, we can explain this to him. After all, club presidents are in competition. But we are delegations capable of exhibiting an above-club approach and maturity – a level of accumulation. We need to quickly put our hands under the stone. The state has shown the necessary reflex with all its institutions. Suspects and the accused were caught. Defendants were arrested. The investigation will continue by expanding from now on. I have no concern about that, but this should be a milestone for Turkish football. To prevent a similar one from happening again. From here, the entire football public should adopt a common discourse with the same feelings so that such incidents do not happen again in the future. Starting from this, can referees be criticized? Of course, they can be criticized. Do referees make mistakes? Of course, they can. The process of sweeping some mistakes under the rug and not going after them, allowing them to be ignored, is a process that makes all referees fall under suspicion. . Now this society is waiting for the answer to what kind of steps TFF will take regarding the problems. For this reason, Mr. should also put his hat in front of him and think why we came to this point. After that, he should think about presenting to the public with solution proposals” he said.

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