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Turkish player faces jail for racist abuse

JAILBIRD: Emre, right, played for the Magpies against Zokora's Tottenham in October 2007

EMRE BELOZOGLU is set to learn whether he could serve up to two years in prison for directing a racial slur at former Tottenham player Didier Zokora.

The incident in question occurred last April when Emre, an ex-Newcastle midfielder, was playing for Fenerbahçe against Zokora’s Trabzonspor in the Turkish league.

From video footage of the incident it appears Emre mouths the words: “fu*king nig*er” towards the Ivorian.

At the time Emre, who now plays for Spanish side Atletico Madrid, was handed a two-match ban by Turkish football authorities.

Zokora kicks Emre where it hurts

However, Emre will now have to face Turkey’s public prosecutor, and, according to Turkish media, the prosecution is calling for a sentence between six months and two years for the alleged insult.

At a previous hearing Emre admitted he had insulted Zokora in English but denied language pertaining to a racial nature was employed. Due to the Turkish Football Federation not acknowledging racist abuse had taken place, Trabzonspor made a legal complaint to the country’s justice system.

It is not the first time Emre has been involved in racial abuse allegations. In 2007, during his playing days with Newcastle, Emre was accused of calling Everton defender Joseph Yobo a “fu*king nig*er” and “fu*king negro” – claims which were substantiated by Yobo’s team-mates Joleon Lescott and Tim Howard. However, the FA’s independent commission did not charge Emre because they deemed case lacked sufficient evidence.

When Zokora and Emre next met in the league in May, the west African did not hold back when challenging his Turkish opponent (see video).

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