Turkish football club declares war on beards
Beşiktaş coach Slaven Bilic (L), Fenerbahçe goalkeeper Volkan Demirel (C) and Beşiktaş midfielder Olcay Şahan are some of the hirsute football celebrities that have raised Gençlerbirliği Chair İlhan Cavcav's ire.A Turkish football club has decided to issue a hefty fine for beards, after its chairman claimed some footballers look like students of imam-training schools.
"I am 80 years old, and I shave every single day," Gençlerbirliği Chairman İlhan Cavcav said in explaining the reasoning for his club's decision to start issuing a fine of 25,000 Turkish Liras ($11,200) to any of its footballers with beards.
"Man, is this an imam-hatip school? You are a sportsman. You should be a model for the youth," he added in an interview with the Doğan News Agency on Nov. 15, while complaining that that his own grandson was negatively affected by the ever-growing number of beards in the football world.
As "bad examples," Cavcav mentioned Beşiktaş coach Slaven Bilic, Beşiktaş midfielder Olcay Şahan, Fenerbahçe goalkeeper Volkan Demirel and Galatasaray midfielder Selçuk İnan.
Cavcav also said he applied to Yıldırım Demirören, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) chairman, to adopt a nationwide beard ban for footballers.
"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 concluded, stressing that he would push other clubs to take a common position against beards on the pitch.