Football

Players facing Ramadan dilemma

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Muslim players that are still in the World Cup face a dilemma as to weather they observe their holy month of Ramadan.

Much of the Islamic world fast for a whole month during dawn to dusk and this tradition poses a serious problem for the Algerian team who face Germany on Monday.

There are also Muslim players in the Nigerian and French teams and they will have to consider if fasting could have detrimental effect on their performances in the World Cup.

During the 30 days of Ramadan you are unable to eat or drink during daylight hours. It is mandatory for Muslims and one of the five pillars of Islam, however, there are exceptions including for the sick, pregnant, infirm and elderly.

Those travelling, or going to war, are also excluded and it is under this provision that most athletes will delay the fast until a more suitable time

Algerian defender Djamel Mesbah admits the issue of Ramadan needs discussing and the team will make a decision before the month starts.

"We need to discuss it among ourselves,” he said.

“It’s clear that our religion is very important for the team, so we will talk about it and see how to go forward.”

It isn't the first time Ramadan has clashed with athletes during a major sporting event. At the London 2012 Olympic Games many nations allowed their athletes to eat during Ramadan so that it wouldn't harm their performances but suggested that they either carry out Ramadan at another time or make donations to charity.

Algeria captain Madjid Bougherra explains that Ramadan is a problems many Muslim players face when playing for European clubs. Bougherra fasted whilst playing in Scotland for Rangers and is likely to do so from Monday.

“The hardest thing is staying hydrated, but it’s OK, the weather’s good here,” he said. “Some players will postpone their fast for another time, but depending on my physical condition, I think I will do it.”

However, some Muslim players competing in the World Cup have already decided that they won't be observing Ramadan. France full-back Bacary Sagna, whose French side play Nigeria on Monday, won't be fasting.

“As a Muslim I know that there are certain rules that allow us to avoid it,” he said. “Personally I’m not going to do it, everyone’s free to do as they will and I totally respect those that will do it,” he said.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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