Gael Givet: Evian ordered me to shave ‘jihadist’ beard
Former Blackburn and Monaco defender Gael Givet has claimed his ill-fated stay at Evian was caused by his refusal to shave his beard.
Givet, who left Evian after only one league game in September 2014, asserted that the French club took him for a "jihadist".
"Three days before my first game [for Evian], I was called into the president’s office for something that seemed crazy and that had nothing to do with football," he told Le Parisien.
"I was completely disgusted. The problem was that I let my beard grow. At Evian, they wanted to force me to shave because it was too long.
"At 33, you cannot treat me this way. They took me for a jihadist, while I haven’t even converted to Islam."
Of course, an alternate view could be simply that his facial hair did not fit well with the club's image - after all, it was pretty unkempt.
Givet now plays for his boyhood team Arles-Avignon.