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 looked like students of an Islamic school.
Istanbul: The chairman of Turkish football club Genclerbirligi has vowed to fine any of his players who have beards after claiming some looked like students of an Islamic school.
"I`m 80 and I shave every day," said Ilhan Cavcav, chairman of the Ankara-based club which is currently ninth in the first division.
"Is this an imam school? You are a sportsman. You should be a model for the youth," he said in an interview with the Dogan news agency.
Genclerbirligi will fine any player who takes to the pitch with a beard 25,000 Turkish lira (around 9,000 euros or $11,200).
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.
Turkey`s government is often accused by its critics of trying to make Turkish society more Islamic.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was educated in a religious school, sports a thick moustache in common with many Turkish men, but not a beard.