Raul Meireles has been handed a huge 11-match ban for an apparent ‘spit’ on a referee in Turkey, according to reports.
The former Liverpool and Chelsea star reacted angrily to receiving a red card during Fenerbache’s clash with Galatasaray, and confronted the referee in a hostile manner after some goading from ex-Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue.
It’s claimed that Meireles then made homophobic remarks towards official Halis Ozkahy, as well as spitting on his shirt as things threatened to spiral out of control.
The Daily Mail cite reports that the Turkish Football Federation have given the player a huge ban, which would see the Portuguese international out of domestic action until the last week of February.
Meireles strongly denied the claims post-match however, and the video evidence available appears inconclusive at this stage.
“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,” he said, according to the paper.
“I have many gay friends who I deeply respect. The hand gesture I made is directed at the referee caving in to the pressure of the home fans. 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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