Referees have come under a lot of stick recently. Former Beşiktaş manager Slaven Bilic recently slammed officials favouritism towards the big clubs. Arsenal fans started a petition to prevent Mike Dean refereeing their games and Fenerbahçe were furious with some of Halis Özkahya’s decisions following the Istanbul derby yesterday.
Some referees do make genuine mistakes but they are also made the scapegoat when teams do not get their way. Refereeing committees rarely allow their officials to explain their decisions which has resulted in a disconnect between the fans and the vilified match officials.
Turkish Super League referee Deniz Çoban decided to change all that following the Kasımpaşa v Rizespor game. The experienced referee took the unprecedented move of gatecrashing Kasımpaşa manager Rıza Çalımbay’s post-match interview with league broadcaster Lig Tv to apologise live on air.
Çalımbay and the interviewer looked stunned as Çoban explained that he watched the replay and could not believe the mistake he had made.
Çoban awarded 9 man Rizespor a penalty following Kweuke’s dive just outside the six-yard box. The Congo international equalised from the spot kick to force a 1-1 draw.
“I apologise to you [Çalımbay], to the Kasımpaşa team to the Rizespor team and to the Turkish Football Federation as well as the refereeing committee and have to consider my future after this,” Çoban said live on Lig Tv after the game..
Çalımbay responded by saying: “We all make mistakes but the fact that you had the courage to come here and admit this deserves a lot of respect. Do not talk about leaving the profession the game needs more people like you.”
The Turkish Football Federation has yet to release a statement regarding Çoban’s recent outburst.