The DFL, a German football league, fined multiple players recently for not wearing masks while having at-home haircuts done. Photos emerged of Dortmund's Jadon Sancho and Manuel Akanj having trims in their respective homes, but neither they nor the hairdressers were wearing personal protective equipment. Sancho issued a response on Twitter, calling the fine an "absolute joke."
"The DFL has fined Manuel Akanji and Jadon Sancho. The players from Borussia Dortmund had violated general hygiene and infection protection standards at home hairdressing appointments and, in particular, the medical-organizational concept of the DFL task force," the German league said in a statement. "There is no question that professional footballers also have to have their hair cut. However, this currently has to be done by the medical-organizational concept."
DFL clarified that the fine is not directed at Dortmund. The league could not find recognizable "organizational fault" in the incident. The association also confirmed that Sancho and Akanj would have five days to complain.
"We are not defending the hairdresser visit; we are only trying to clarify it. It's important to comply with hygiene regulations. The only violation was not wearing a mask," Borussia Dortmund director Michael Zorc said on Thursday. He also said that a group of six players had said they followed safety guidelines and only took off the masks for their photos.
The decision to fine Sancho comes days after he secured the first "hat trick" of his career. During this match, the forward lifted his jersey and revealed the message "Justice for George Floyd," which he wrote about Floyd's murder in Minneapolis. Sancho also wore a warmup shirt that said, "No Justice No Peace." The German Football Association decided that it will not fine Sancho and other players for their demonstrations.
"First professional hat trick. A bittersweet moment personally as there are more important things going on in the world today that we must address and help make a change. We have to come together as one & fight for justice. We are stronger together! #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd," Sancho posted on Instagram following the match.
The Bundesliga, the league featuring Dortmund, returned to action on May 17. The German football league became the first of the major European football leagues to resume play following the COVID-19 shutdown. Players and coaches must adhere to strict health guidelines, such as wearing masks during haircuts. They must also undergo regular testing while only remaining with family members or teammates between each match.