Fenerbahce star Emre banned in wake of racist slur
Fenerbahce midfielder Emre Belozoglu has been handed a two-match ban for allegedly racially abusing Trabzonspor's Ivory Coast player Didier Zokora, it was reported Friday.
According to the reports, Turkish international Emre, who allegedly called Zokora a "dirty negro", has become the first player to be punished under a new law aimed at ridding sport of racism.
Emre was reprimanded by the disciplinary commission of the Turkish football league (PFDK) for abusing Zokora during a league match on April 15.
However a majority of the commission concluded, according to the Milliyet and Hurriyet daily newspapers, that the abuse levelled at the African player was not "racist" in character.
The ruling has been met with anger at Trabzonspor, who have since lodged civil proceedings against the 31-year-old.
On Tuesday the Turkish international tried to make amends.
"Sometimes in the heat of the action we say stupid things. I used a stupid word... I want to apologise for what I said," said Emre.
It is not the first time Emre has been implicated in such an affair.
A former Newcastle United player, Emre left England under a cloud in 2007 after racially abusing three black Everton players.
According to recently-introduced laws a player found guilty of acts or insults of a racist nature can be handed a maximum eight-match suspension.
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