Fans have called for a footballer to be sacked after he was sent off for assaulting a teammate during a match in Turkey, with the former manager of the national team who is his boss pledging to "do what is necessary".
Brazilian defender Marcao lost his head in the 61st minute of Galatasaray's 2-0 win at Giresunspor, confronting Turkey international Kerem Akturkoglu, butting the 22-year-old winger and throwing two punches at him.
A VAR review allowed the referee to take a closer look at the shocking act of violence, resulting in the 25-year-old center-back being dismissed to the widespread anger of outraged fans of the title contenders.
"You don't deserve Galatasaray," raged one as footage of the altercation rapidly spread on social media. "You can never be a team player. Get out."
Galatasaray defender Marcao get red-carded yesterday for punching and head-butting…his own teammate.— Noxwin (@noxwin12) August 17, 2021
Unbelievable.😳#GalatasaraySK fans supported Kerem Aktürkoğlu with their social media posts after the match.#SüperLigpic.twitter.com/QE0Y9EIa2c
Another thundered: "Shame on you, Marcao. Whatsoever your reason was, you shouldn't have done that.
"You are not greater than Galatasaray. I hope the club will give you the punishment you deserved."
Legendary manager Fatih Terim, who has managed Turkey three times and is now in his fourth spell with Galatasaray, called for calm when he was asked what action the Super Lig giants would take.
"We are responsible to Galatasaray fans, the public and football lovers – but first, we are responsible for our own club," replied the eight-time title winner.
"We have always done and will do what is necessary. We will protect Kerem. Whatever is done to Marcao, we will decide through our president and technical committee.
"We'll solve this issue. We do not intend to put the event ahead of the game. Both our experience and our relationships through the president and management are enough to solve this case.
"Let's be calm first. It's a bit raw. Marcao will first come out and apologize to Kerem, his teammates, Galatasaray fans, Turkish football and everyone. We'll see later.
"Let's not kill him, but let's not let anyone lose sight of the other player's rights, either."
This is not the first time that teammates have fought at Galatasaray. In 2012, Brazilian midfielder Felipe Melo was said to have punched Spanish winger Albert Riera in the eye after a training session row.
No way Marcao is running half way across the pitch unless Akturkoglu has said something over the line— Abu Luay (@avfcnc) August 17, 2021
Both players were forgiven and returned to training at the club a week later.
"We have seen such incidents many times elsewhere... and we have solved them all," said Terim. "We also [resolved] the Melo-Riera incident. We will manage this as we manage that process.
"We have to be cool. Nobody should worry. We do not act with anger and violence. We are the ones who should be calm. Otherwise we will [heighten] the mood of the players who come to the locker room.
@teixeira_marcao stay strong man. İ know why u did it. Bcoz of you are a warrior on the field. İ am sure that you are sory and u will apologise for that. We love you, i m glad to see you in our team 👏🏻u will do what u have to do— Yankatsu (@Yankatsu1) August 17, 2021
"We would be wrong to do that. I approve of [people] asking questions, but we take decisions to make Galatasaray happy."
Some supporters speculated about what could have provoked such a furious incident and offered measured backing to the disgraced star.
"No way Marcao is running halfway across the pitch unless Akturkoglu has said something over the line," said one, while another told the 2019 Super Lig winner: "Stay strong, man.
"İ know why you did it – because you are a warrior on the field. İ am sure that you are sorry and you will apologize for it.
"We love you; I'm glad to see you in our team. You will do what you have to do."
An Akturkoglu admirer told Marcao: "There can be no excuse for tonight’s shame. Kerem Akturkoglu is in our heart and is indispensable. Please find a way to solve your anger issue."
Galatasaray had already scored both of their goals when Marcao saw red. Giresunspor had a man sent off 18 minutes earlier.
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