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Judge gives Turkish football federation a yellow card, fines them for firing gay referee

A judge in Istanbul did not appreciate the Turkish football federation firing a referee in 2009 because he was gay.

Burak Kara/Getty Images

Halil Ibrahim Dincdag was a soccer referee in Turkey until he was identified as gay in 2009. The Turkish football federation canned Dincdag when the revelation was made public and barred him from officiating. Now, six years later, a judge has ordered the federation to pay Dincdag about $8,000 for his firing.

"This lawsuit was a case in favour of all people who suffered injustice and discrimination," Dincdag said after the verdict was announced. "Winning this case was really something very important. The court has now confirmed that my fight was a right. I hope that this decision sets a precedent for similar cases. This is a victory."

The federation had claimed that Dincdag was fired for his performance, and also because the military had deemed him unfit to serve because he is gay. An Istanbul court wasn't buying it, and now the federation will have to pay up.

More and more we are seeing courts getting involved to protect LGBT people in sports. It's nice to see in Turkey, smack dab between Europe and the Middle East, that courts will oppose discrimination and make the perpetrators pay.