Former Liverpool star rushed to protect referee from his own players

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Antalyaspor boss Nuri Sahin moved to protect the referee from his own players (Image: @beINSports/Twitter)
Antalyaspor boss Nuri Sahin moved to protect the referee from his own players (Image: @beINSports/Twitter)

Former Liverpool midfielder and current Antalyaspor boss Nuri Sahin rushed to protect referee Kadir Saglam from his own players after a controversial Super Lig defeat against Fenerbahce.

Antalyaspor were controversially denied a late equalising goal due to an offside decision in the encounter. Striker Haji Wright had given Sahin’s side a first-half lead but former Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi bagged a double after the break, the second of which came from the penalty spot, to seal the points for the visitors.

At full-time, angry Antalyaspor players ran to confront referee Saglam due to their unhappiness with his performance and their feeling aggrieved with a belief that they had unfairly been denied at least a draw due to decisions taken throughout the match.

Former Liverpool star rushed to protect referee from his own players eridzriquhikeinvSahin formed a barrier between his angry players and referee Kadir Saglam after the game (@beINSports/Twitter)

That led to Sahin sprinting to the referee to create a barrier between his own players and the officiating team, as he looked to calm the situation. The former midfielder was appointed as boss at the club in October 2021, making the decision to hang up his boots.

Reports from Turkey outline how Antalyaspor’s rage at referee Saglam and his officiating team has not ended following the match, as they have requested the logs of the dialogue between the on-field officials and those in the VAR studio from the match due to their feelings that they were treated unfairly during the game.

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They released a strongly-worded statement titled "Darkness of night" in which they called official Saglam a "novice", while also citing their previous grievances with the referee. It read: "In Turkish football, Sivas and Gaziantep yesterday, Antalya today, is another city where a dark night will be experienced tomorrow.

Former Liverpool star rushed to protect referee from his own playersSaglam continued to punish Antalyaspor players after the match (@beINSports/Twitter)

"We knew Kadir Saglam before. Let's remember: In the Kasımpaşa match we played in the 5th week of this season, tonight's referee Kadir Saglam was also the one who did not give a red card to Larsson's face in the match against Kasimpasa, but who made up a penalty in the position and who was suspended for 4 weeks after this match.

"We said we don't want novice referees. In today's match, the same referee who assisted Fenerbahce's first goal, sought the penalty and made up the offside, despite being stopped by a foul while attacking with Bunyamin while he was ahead 1-0.

"We wonder if there’s any offside talk in the VAR recordings. We demand clarification, we believe that TFF's understanding of transparency requires it.

"We are against the order that treats Anatolian clubs to the championship race. We demand justice not only for our community, but for all Anatolian clubs."

Galatasaray – Fenerbahce’s Istanbul rivals – echoed Antalyaspor’s call for the logs of by tweeting: "Those who do not suffer from justice received their privilege @Fenerbahce. We will continue to seek justice for all. Let the VAR records of the Antalyaspor - Fenerbahce match be announced, let's see what a cover is for the operation."

Sahin, 34, enjoyed an impressive playing career in which he lined out for some of the biggest clubs in world football including the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid, and of course Liverpool – making 12 appearances during a loan spell in the 2012/13 campaign.

Colin Millar

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