Turkish football body fined for sacking gay referee Halil Ibrahim Dincdag

Istanbul: A Turkish court yesterday ordered the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) to pay compensation after it revoked the refereeing licence of a local referee on the grounds that he was gay, reports said.

The Istanbul court ordered the TFF to pay 23,000 Turkish Lira (Rs 5.23 lakh approximately) in material and moral compensation over its treatment of Halil Ibrahim Dincdag, the Dogan news agency reported.

However the sum was lower than the 110,000 Turkish Lira (R2.5 crore approx) demanded by Dincdag's lawyers in a case that had become a symbol of discrimination against gays and lesbians in largely conservative Turkish society.

The TFF had said that since he was exempt from military service due to his homosexuality, Dincdag fell into the army's classification of "unfit" and thus unable to do the job of refereeing. Dincdag had been a referee in the Trabzon region on the Black Sea region but had his licence revoked in 2009 after publicly coming out as gay.

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