Cuneyt Cakir, a well-known football referee in Europe, ended his longtime career Thursday, according to the head of the governing body of football in Türkiye.
Mehmet Buyukeksi, president of the Turkish Football Federation (TFF), thanked 45-year-old Cakir for his contributions to Turkish football during a live broadcast at beIN SPORTS.
Buyukeksi said that Cakir, a FIFA referee since 2006, recently applied at Türkiye's Central Refereeing Committee (MHK) to leave his job.
"Last week, we held a camp, a seminar with our referees in the northern province of Bolu. In the seminar, Cuneyt Cakir applied to the MHK (to leave his post)," Buyukeksi said.
He added that Cakir had several offers abroad but the Turkish referee wanted to end his career in Türkiye, as the country has provided so many opportunities to him.
Buyukeksi stated that Cakir wants to train referees in lower categories in the future so that he can contribute to Turkish refereeing.
The Turkish football body's president added that the MHK, TFF and its board approved his request.
Cakir has been a Turkish Super Lig referee from 2001-2022.
The Turkish national officiated matches in the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cup tournaments and refereed the 2015 UEFA Champions League final when Barcelona beat Juventus 3-1 in Berlin.
He was last assigned to referee several matches at the UEFA EURO 2020, which was won by Italy in the summer of 2021.
Cakir previously appeared in the EURO 2012 and EURO 2016 tournaments.
He has been a regular referee in the Champions League since 2010.
He also officiated many matches in the second-tier Europa League.