Sports

Onuachu, Musa, other Super Eagles stars grounded in Turkey after Ankaragucu President punches referee

There will be no football for Paul Onuachu, Ahmed Musa, Bright Osayi-Samuel, and other stars in Turkey for the time being after the Turkish Federation suspended all league games in the country, Soccernet.ng reports.

The TFF has confirmed that it has suspended all leagues following a shameful night when Ankaragucu president Faruk Koca punched a referee in the face at the end of their Süper Lig home match against Rizespor.

Olimpiu Morutan gave Ankaragucu the lead in the 14th minute. Still, the home side’s joy was short-lived after referee Halil Umut Meler sent off striker Ali Sowe early in the second half.

Rizespor were equally reduced to ten men late in the encounter when defender Emir Han Topcu received his marching orders. However, substitute Adolfo Gaich rescued a point for the visitors deep in stoppage time.

The match’s ending did not go down well with many home fans, but it was club president Faruk Koca who did the unthinkable.

The Ankaragucu CEO went onto the pitch and landed a right-handed punch on referee Halil Umut Meler’s left eye.

When the referee hit the ground, a couple of club officials kicked him before players and staff from both teams formed a protective ring round him as the police escorted him back to the dressing room.

The country’s number-one football body has condemned the attack in no unclear terms and has vowed to mete out stiff punishments to everyone involved.

“The Turkish Football Federation has decided to suspend all games in all leagues indefinitely,” the federation posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“The related club, the club chairman, club officials and all those guilty of attacking referee Umut Meler will be punished in the strongest terms possible.”

The development means there will likely be no matches for Nigerian players in Turkey this weekend.

Last weekend, Onuachu featured as Trabzonspor won 1-3 at Gaziantep FK. Ahmed Musa was on the bench when Sivasspor squeezed out a narrow 1-0 win away to Konyaspor.

Bright Osayi-Samuel impressed for Fenerbahce as they forced a 3-1 defeat down the throat of their hosts Besiktas.

Fisayo Dele-Bashiru could not help Hatayspor avoid a 1-0 loss at Istanbul Basaksehir.