Istanbul – Turkey's football disciplinary board has slapped a record 11-match ban on Fenerbahce midfielder Raul Meireles for allegedly spitting at the referee and insulting him during a weekend derby against archrival Galatasaray.

Meireles was sent off in the match, and the board announced the additional ban against the Portugal international and former Chelsea player late Thursday. Meireles has denied spitting at the referee or insulting him.

Fenerbahce issued a terse statement Friday denouncing the suspension as a punishment meted out “not against Meireles but the whole Fenerbahce community” and said it would appeal the decision.

Meireles joined Fenerbahce in September after one season with Chelsea. – Sapa-AP