It’s great that in the
All Turkish men aged between 21 and 40 are required to serve up to 15 months in the military, although there are some exceptions made for those rich enough to buy their way out; citizens who have worked outside the country for at least three consecutive years can just pay €5,112 and undergo basic training for three weeks. Conveniently the clubs intend to wait a couple of weeks to confirm the transfer, as Emre’s third anniversary in this country falls on July 14th, allowing him to dodge quite a lengthy period in camouflage with a rucksack full of smokes and shared pornography, and instead just play soldiers for three weeks.
Of course Mr Belezoglu isn’t the first famous footballer to be subject to military service, with the majority of our old boys during the war still playing semi-professionally when the push of the German frontline allowed. Returning to more recent times however, several countries still operate an element of national service with little or no exceptions. During their formative years in Serie A, several famous Italian stars were involved in leva, or conscription: Fabio Galante, Alex Del Piero, Fabio Cannavaro and Marco Delvecchio were all housed in a special
South Korean footballers are also subject to military service, more than two years of it no less, but after their successful run in World Cup 2002, the squad were rewarded with their conscription time being slashed to just one cushy month. Interestingly though there’s quite a sizable legal loophole;
Anyone who’s been traveling will know the amount of Israeli guys you find all around the world, enjoying a bit of freedom after their military service, but their footballers too are apparently subject to special dispensation. Young guys who play for teams in
It seems that surprisingly most Scandanavian countries are pretty draft-happy too; I never realised any of them actually had armies. Golf-club-fearing John Arne Riise was due to join the Norwegian army before heading to
Ex-Blackburn striker Shefki Kuqi also steered clear of a spot of shipyard-guarding back home in