Friday, 21 December 2012

Miereles Banned for Spitting

Former Liverpool and Chelsea midfielder Raul Meireles has been banned for 11 games after being accused of spitting at a referee.

The 29-year-old Fenerbahce player, who was also sent off in the 2-1 derby loss at Galatasaray, denies the claim.

However, the Turkish Football Federation backed referee Halis Ozkahya's claims and issued the ban.

Meireles said: "I will be taking legal action against him to prove my innocence."

He also denies Ozkahya's claims that he made a homophobic gesture at the official.

"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 Portugal international added.

"Look at my hairstyle, what I wear, I'm not a prejudicial person, my hand gesture was in no way, shape or form a homophobic one.

"The referee's accusations are outrageous and defamatory. I have an eight-year-old child, can you imagine if kids start saying your father spat at a referee?"

Meireles spent two seasons in the Premier League, joining Liverpool from Porto following the 2010 World Cup, before handing in a transfer request and signing for Chelsea in August 2011.

He left Stamford Bridge in September to join Fenerbahce in an £8m deal.

Sunday's defeat to Galatasaray was only the second time that Meireles had lost in 14 appearances for Fenerbahce.

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