Outgoing referee chief defends decisions amid criticism

Published 14.02.2019 00:03

Yusuf Namoğlu, the head of Turkey's football refereeing body - the Central Arbitration Committee (MHK), resigned from his post yesterday.

His decision comes amid a storm of criticism regarding referee decisions, coming from the Super League clubs and fans.

Speaking to private broadcaster NTV, Namoğlu said the MHK board also handed in their resignation letters to the Turkish Football Federation (TFF).

The veteran referee, who took office in 2011, defended fellow referees and said the MHK had "allowed those who made mistakes a leave of absence." Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe were among the clubs complaining about referees spoiling their chances to score with biased decisions.

For Namoğlu, criticism toward referee Ümit Öztürk was "the last straw." Öztürk was slammed by Super League side Trabzonspor, which lost to Galatasaray 3-1 last week. It accused the referee of making multiple "mistakes," including not awarding a clear penalty to Trabzonspor when Galatasaray's Marcao stepped on Trabzon player Ekuban's foot.

A photo of Öztürk checking Marcao's fault in the replay footage supplied by the video assistant referee (VAR) has since gone viral.

Namoğlu acknowledged that there have been "mistakes" and referees could make the wrong decision despite the VAR system. He, however, said but it was not deliberate as claimed. "It is about the skills of the referees. You can't finish the career of a referee because of one wrong decision," he said.

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