23 August 2012 /TODAY’S ZAMAN
Galatasaray’s Engin Baytar, who got a record 11-game ban for grabbing FIFA-ranked referee Cüneyt Çakır by his shirt during a recent game against Fenerbahçe, both accused Çakır of applying double standards to foreign and Turkish footballers and apologized to him for his much-criticized behavior.
Speaking on the national TV8 channel on Wednesday, Baytar said he had an argument with Fenerbahçe striker Dirk Kuyt during the game and that the Dutchman elbowed him in his crotch. “He [Çakır] said: ‘I saw it. Does it hurt a lot?’,” Baytar quoted the referee as saying. The footballer said Çakır called Fenerbahçe captain Alex de Souza “captain” out of respect and argued that he does not exhibit the same manner towards Turkish players. Baytar rejected allegations that he swore at Çakır and said he wished to apologize to the referee in person as well.