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Turkish Super Lig controversy again as Istanbulspor president calls team off pitch in protest of not getting penalty

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The Turkish Super Lig was at the centre of another refereeing controversy as Istanbulspor president Faik Sarialioglu called his team off the pitch in protest after not getting a penalty against Trabzonspor.

Istanbulspor were drawing 1-1 when Florian Loshaj went down under Batista Mendy’s challenge but no penalty was awarded.

Trabzonspor then scored to put them 2-1 up at the other end through former Southampton striker Paul Onuachu before the Istanbulspor players were called off the pitch in the 73rd minute by their own president. The match was suspended and did not resume on Tuesday night.

In astonishing scenes, Istanbulspor striker Simon Deli, who is on loan from Adana Demirspor, was seen on his knees – appearing to beg his own president not to take the team off.

“It is a sad day for football. We will wait for the football federation’s decision from now on,” Trabzonspor coach Abdullah Avci said.

Sky Sports News has contacted the Turkish Football Federation for comment.

After the game was halted, Trabzonspor posted on X, formerly known as Twitter: “We would like to thank our fans who did not leave our team alone in Istanbulspor’s away game.”

Instanbulspor are at the bottom of the Turkish Super Lig after picking up just eight points in 15 games. They have won just once in their last eight matches.

Incredible scenes as more referee drama ensues in Turkey

Istanbulspor president Faik Sarialioglu ushers his team off the pitch
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Istanbulspor president Faik Sarialioglu ushers his team off the pitch

Istanbulspor's players were taken off the pitch by their president leaving Trabzonspor's players bemused
Image:
Istanbulspor’s players were taken off the pitch by their president leaving Trabzonspor’s players bemused

Istanbulspor striker Simon Deli refused to come off and was later seen being dragged off by the president
Image:
Istanbulspor striker Simon Deli refused to come off and was later seen being dragged off by the president

Other Istanbulspor players appeared to disagree with their president's call
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Other Istanbulspor players appeared to disagree with their president’s call

Istanbulspor's players still protested with the referee after their president took them off
Image:
Istanbulspor’s players still protested with the referee after their president took them off

What happened in the Turkish Super Lig last week?

Turkey’s top flight returned on Tuesday night for the first time since it was suspended after Ankaragucu president Faruk Koca punched referee Halil Umut Meler in the face after a Super Lig match on December 12.

Koca has been handed a permanent ban by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) after being arrested for the incident.

The TFF board also ruled that Ankaragucu would pay a two million lira (£54,000) fine and would play five home games without fans as a result of the unrest involving fans and club officials.

Matches in all Turkish football leagues were suspended by the country’s football association but returned on Tuesday – only for more controversy to occur.

Turkish Football Federation receives assurances from UEFA over hosting Euro 2032

In October Turkey was awarded joint hosting rights for Euro 2032 alongside Italy.

Turkish Football Federation (TFF) president Mehmet Buyukeksi said he had already received assurances from UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin that the first incident last Monday evening had not jeopardised that project.

“There is no negativity. President Ceferin called and said, ‘We are with you, we are ready to do whatever is necessary’,” Buyukeksi added.

“Please let us not misinform the public. Our goal is to ensure that football is played properly in Turkey and to continue as quickly as possible without any problems.

“But right now, our referee is important, the mental health of our referees is important. Other issues are not important. That is why we are here. We will make the necessary statements later.”

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