Werder Bremen manager Klaus Allofs told daily Bild that the ban had been put in place because tattooing can be risky and hurt players’ readiness for games.
"I do not want to dramatize the danger, but we have pointed out that we ban tattoos that are made during the season,” he told Bild. “That is a risk that we simply have to exclude."
At least one Bundesliga player has had serious tattoo troubles. Last year, Eljero Elia, a forward on the Hamburger SV squad, had difficulty putting on his soccer kit after getting a painful infection from a poorly applied tattoo.
But the ban may prove hard to enforce, given tattooing has become popular in recent years, not just among Bundesliga players but among top athletes around the world – including among Werder Bremen players.
Top Werder Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese and midfielder Marko Arnautovi are among football’s biggest tattoo aficionados. And, of course, British superstar David Beckham is well-known for the tats covering his body.
In the US, basketball stars Carmelo Anthony and Tim Duncan as well as baseball player Jason Giambi are just a few of the players who sport prominent tattoos.