As the fashion of having a long beard quickly spreads among Turkish youth, the country's football world is apparently concerned that it will ruin the image of its players. PTT First League team Altınordu joined Ankara-based club Gençlerbirliği in urging players not to take to the pitch with beards.
İzmir-based Altınordu President Seyit Mehmet Özkan asked the players to attend all matches clean-shaven while he relaxed restrictions for transfers from other clubs.
In a written statement posted on the club's website, Özkan said players had a responsibility to be "a good individual and citizen" and to that extent, he would ban players from growing beards. "Every player trained at our club and admitted to the team will play without a beard. You are free to grow beards outside the pitch. Players we transferred from other clubs can grow beards but they should trim it properly before matches. I will not tolerate long beards on players," he said.
Özkan's attention to the image of his players was not restricted to facial hair. The president, who described players as his "sons," advised them "not to wear pink cleats." The president also said players would be enroled in diction classes that would be obligatory at least once a week for every player.