Ex-Man City player Ali Bernarbia: ‘Players generally don’t do Ramadan on matchdays, they can make it up afterwards’

With Ramadan beginning on Saturday evening, several World Cup squads with Muslim players will have to take the Islamic tradition into account in their preparations.

Nigeria, Algeria, and France are 3 World Cup teams who have Muslim players expected to practice the month-long fast (no eating or drinking from dawn til dusk), and there are varying opinions on the extent of the detrimental impact fasting can have on a player’s ability to compete.

Former Man City player Ali Bernarbia, an Algerian and practicing Muslim, has given some interesting information on Ramadan, saying that in exceptional cases like sport and travel, allowances can be made:

‘Due to the climate, the heat, and the physical effort, players generally don’t do Ramadan on matchdays, and they make it up at the end of the Ramadan month.

That’s what all Imams advise, and that’s even laid out in the Koran, in terms of exceptional cases.
Why? To protect the body from dehydration and other physical problems.’

‘It could possibly practiced in a place like Russia, for example, but here in Brazil, with the heat and humidity, it would be counter-productive, as the Koran says one shouldn’t do harm to one’s body…so in this case, the days missed can be caught up at the end of Ramadan.’

Translation, Paul Morrissey


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