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Raul Meireles handed eleven match ban

SENIOR ANALYST
News
21 Dec 2012, 15:28 IST
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - SEPTEMBER 20:  Raul Meireles of Fenerbahce SK in action during the UEFA Europa League group stage match between Fenerbahce SK and Olympique de Marseille on September 20, 2012 at Sukru Saracoglu in Istanbul, Turkey.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – SEPTEMBER 20: Raul Meireles of Fenerbahce SK in action during the UEFA Europa League group stage match between Fenerbahce SK and Olympique de Marseille on September 20, 2012 at Sukru Saracoglu in Istanbul, Turkey.

Portuguese midfielder Raul Meireles has been been handed an eleven match ban for spitting on the referee in a league match against arch-rivals Galatasaray. The incident occurred after referee  Halis Ozkahya  awarded him a second yellow in the second half during his team’s 2-1 loss. Meireles has been said to have spat at the referee and make a homophobic gesture at him. If the ban stays, Meireles could be out until late February.

On his part, He added, ‘I’m really annoyed at being accused of spitting at the referee. I have an eight year old kid, can you imagine if kids at school start saying your father spat at a ref, this could ruin my reputation in the eyes of my child.

‘I have many gay friends who I deeply respects. The hand gesture I made is directed at the referee caving in to the pressure of the home fans.

 ‘That hand gesture was to tell him he was scared. Look at my hairstyle, what I wear, I’m not a prejudice person, my hand gesture was in no way, shape or form a homophobic one. 

‘I don’t know what the hand gesture for calling somebody gay is in Turkey but what I did was entirely based around the referee being a coward and bowing to the pressure. 

‘The referee’s accusations are outrageous and are defamation, I will be taking legal action against him to prove my innocence.’

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