Match officials issued with guidance ahead of holy period of Ramadan and encouraged to find natural pause in play during evening matches to allow any Muslim player or match official to break their fast before resuming the action; Ramadan begins this week and lasts around a month
By Dev Trehan, @DevTrehan
Match officials across the leagues have been asked to allow players to break their fast during evening matches over the holy period of Ramadan, Sky Sports News can exclusively reveal.
Many of the country’s best footballers including Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez and Chelsea’s Ngolo Kante, are expected to fast this month and will abstain from eating or drinking during daylight hours during an important period of self-reflection for Muslims.
They will need to break their fast once the sun has set – and this will affect a number of players taking part in evening matches across the divisions over the next month.
Match officials have now been issued with guidance from refereeing bodies to allow for a natural pause in play and enable players to break their fast by taking on liquids or energy gels or supplements.
They have also been encouraged ahead of the kick-off to try and identify any players who may need to break their fast during the game, and where possible to agree a rough time for this to happen.
The Football Association and PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Ltd) have been contacted for comment.
Ramadan, which is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community begins this year from Wednesday evening (March 22) until the evening of Friday April 21.
Two years ago, Sky Sports News revealed Leicester City’s match with Crystal Palace had been paused mid-game to allow players to break their fast in what is believed to have been a Premier League first.
On that occasion, both clubs agreed pre-match with referee Graham Scott that there would be a pause in play to allow Wesley Fofana and Cheikhou Kouyate to break their Ramadan fast.
Vicente Guiata delayed taking a goal kick just after the half-hour mark to allow Fofana and Kouyate to take energy gels at the side of the pitch.
Fofana took to social media after the game, thanking Guiata, Palace and the Premier League for allowing him to break his fast, adding: “That’s what makes football wonderful.”
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Read More: Ramadan: Match officials asked to provide opportunity for Muslim players across 2023-03-22 07:42:50