The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) launched Monday a probe into referee Arda Kardeşler using a coin with the bitcoin logo for the toss on Sunday’s match between Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe.
“It has come to our attention that Arda Kardeşler, the referee for the Beşiktaş-Fenerbahçe match … used the coin without prior knowledge and approval of the TFF and MHK (Central Referring Committee). An investigation has now been opened into the issue ,” the TFF said in a statement.
Earlier Sunday, Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe faced each other in the much-hyped Istanbul derby at Vodafone Park. The game week 36 match, which ended in a 1-1 stalemate, was officiated by referee Kardeşler.
Prior to the kick off, Kardeşler called on Beşiktaş captain Josef de Souza and Fenerbahçe skipper Altay Bayındır for the coin toss, where instead of a traditional coin, he used one carrying the bitcoin logo.
While host Beşiktaş is yet to make a statement on the issue, it could be a publicity stunt by the club’s new main sponsor, Rain, an Istanbul-based crypto-asset services provider.
Turkey has a ban on the use of cryptocurrencies and crypto-assets in payments for goods and services, due to possible “irrevocable” damage and significant transaction risks.