Turkish football club boss declares war on beards

The chairman of Turkish football club Genclerbirligi has vowed to fine any of his players who have beards after claiming some of them looked like students of an Islamic school.

Genclerbirligi will fine any player who takes to the pitch with a beard 25,000 Turkish lira (S$14,500) said Ilhan Cavcav, the chairman of the Ankara-based club, which is currently ninth in the first division.

’I'm 80 and I shave every day. Is this an imam school? You are a sportsman. You should be a model for the youth.”

 -  Ilhan Cavcav, chairman of the Ankara-based Genclerbirligi​

Cavcav cited as “bad examples", the bearded Croatian coach of Besiktas, Slaven Bilic, and the same club’s midfielder Olcay Sahan.

Volkan Demirel, the goalkeeper of reigning Turkish champions Fenerbahce, is another full-bearded player who has sparked Cavcav’s ire.

He said he had appealed to Yildirim Demiroren, the Turkish Football Federation chairman, to bring in a nationwide ban on footballers having beards.

“He told me that they could not impose such a restriction because UEFA would not let them do it. I am fed up with this UEFA.

"I wish we had some other place to play our football,” he said.

Source: AFP. Twitter