Turkish football fans were left shocked when one of the nation's favourite pundits suffered a heart attack during a live broadcast. Former FIFA referee Ahmet Cakar became visibly unwell while talking about a match-fixing scandal during a TV show and keeled over onto the desk to the shock of his fellow panellists. He suffered a heart attack and was immediately taken to the hospital, where was reported to be in a stable condition. Cakar went through another difficult moment in 2004, when he was shot five times in his groin and abdomen as he stepped out of his car in Mecidiyekoy, a busy area of Istanbul. He survived and fully recovered after surgery. Ahmet Cakar refereed at Euro 1996 in England, as well as the 1993 FIFA U-20 World Cup final, Brazil – Ghana, and a Champions League semi-final, Bayern – Ajax, in 1995.
Last year, Cakar claimed that Galatasaray's elimination of Manchester United from the UEFA Champions League in 1993 was aided by a corrupted match official. Ahmet Cakar said that he witnessed a Galatasaray official offer the match referee, Kurt Rothlisberger, a bribe over the telephone the evening before the UEFA Champions League second leg against Manchester United in Istanbul. Cakar used his twitter account to claim the club bribed referee Kurt Rothlisberger and said Sami Colgecen, a Galatasaray executive, set up the deal. Rothlisberger sent off Eric Cantona at the end of the match and the Manchester United star claimed that the official had been bribed. At the time, Cantona told L’Equipe: “I am certain that referees have been bought in the European Champions Cup and I ask myself whether Mr. Rothlisberger had not also been bought”. The club have rejected the allegation made by Ahmet Cakar and have instigated legal proceedings against him. Cakar's claim was added to by another Turkish football official, Ahmet Guvener, a former president of the Turkish Referee Committee. "I heard from a club official many times that he had bribed Rothlisberger. I do not know whether he actually did that or not, but I witnessed him saying that", Guvener told the Turkish newspaper, Sabah.
Kurt Rothlisberger took charge of the UEFA Champions League final between Olympique Marseille and AC Milan in the same year. In 1994 he was sent home from the FIFA World Cup after admitting he should have awarded Belgium a penalty in a 3-2 second-round defeat. He was later given a life ban from sport after allegations that he offered to influence another UEFA Champions League game between Grasshopper Zurich and Auxerre. Rothlisberger denied the charge, but failed in a subsequent appeal to get the ban reversed.
Source: The Associated Press