I’d actually forgotten that Meireles had moved on from Stamford Bridge this season, probably because I’ve not been watching as much football recently and when I had seen Chelsea play I was so impressed with Hazard and Mata, and feel that the players that had been bought in, and which had moved on, has really helped the club.
Anyway, I loved watching Meireles play and felt it was a shame he’s moved to Turkey – not a place that gets much football coverage here in the UK. Fenerbache are obviously a huge club still to play for and I assume he’s on great money too, but its sad when the only time you hear of him is when an incident like this happens.
I never remembered Meireles as being a particularly dirty player, so was surprised to hear of this supposed behaviour. He was charged with spitting at the referee having been given a second yellow in their derby game with Galatasary. He will also face charges of apparently making a homosexual gesture to the referee as he left the field of play.
There have been some videos uploaded to Youtube which appear to vindicate the decision to give the player an 1l game ban, with this video below clearly showing Meireles lurching his head forward as if to spit at the ref…
But then take a look at this video from a different angle in which you can clearly see that Meireles did not actually spit at all at the referee – he just angrily voiced his opinions and emphasised some with the movement of his head (which is still quite bad but not as bad as spitting).
Raul Meireles himself has said that he’s shocked with the accusations, stating that he has a young child of his own and he would be disgusted if his son was to hear other children at school accusing his dad of spitting. He went on to suggest that, when accused of making the hand gesture (a circle with index finger and thumb – the “I’m okay” sign in some countries but an offensive gesture in Turkey), he was not the type of person to act in that way, stating that he’s a very open person – “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.”
Lets hope that Meireles can get his ban overturned, although from here it looks highly unlikely.