Premier League - Fellaini: Big hair means I get booked more

Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini believes he gets harsher treatment from referees because of his giant hair.

Premier League - Fellaini: Big hair means I get booked more

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Marouane Fellaini (PA Photos)

The Belgian's afro has made him one of the most recognisable players in the Premier League, and he believes that makes him a target for referees.

Fellaini - who stands 6' 4" (1.93m) without his bouffant hairdo - has been booked eight times this season in 25 matches this season, and received a three-match ban in December for a headbutt on Stoke's Ryan Shawcross.

He said in quotes reported by The Sun: "During my first season at Everton I got 12 bookings.

"At the end of it a delegation of referees visited the club to explain why I had got so many yellow cards. But they ended up admitting some of the bookings were unduly harsh. I ask myself why they get given to me.

"No doubt it’s because I am not someone who can pass by unnoticed. I am tall, and my hairstyle is easily recognised. I know how to give defenders problems. I can see them keeping a special eye on me - they are frightened of me."

The 25-year-old also said his appearance can lead to problems with members of the public.

He said: "The English are crazy about the game. It’s good, but it exceeds the limits at times. For example, a guy stopped me in the street to show me the Everton tattoos on his back.

"And sometimes there is trouble with fans of other clubs if you go out in the evening. On one occasion a Liverpool fan had nothing better to do than pull my hair - once, twice, five times - and it got annoying. I felt it best to go home in order to avoid any trouble.

"I like the fact that Everton fans wear wigs in my honour. It shows they identify with me, and it is pleasing to be recognised."

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