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Ramadan seen to affect Muslim World Cup players

Algeria supporters wearing the Algerian national flag celebrate at a friendly. (Reuters)

The football World Cup - which coincides with the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan - will likely affect Muslim football players, who will have to cope with Brazil’s searing temperatures and high humidity.

This year is the first time since 1986 that Ramadan has fallen during the tournament. Ramadan - where Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual activity during from sunrise to sunset - will begin around 28 June, is on the same day the first round-of-16 matches are staged, and runs until 27 July.

With such limitations on food and drink, it is thought that fasting players could struggle to perform well during the tournament.

Algerian disadvantage

Notable Muslim players include the Ivory Coast’s Touré brothers, Yaya and Kolo, Roma winger Gervinho and Cheick Tioté. Practicing Muslims on France’s squad include Karim Benzema, Bacary Sagna, Mamadou Sakho and Moussa Sissoko, the Huffington Post reported.

Another team that will likely be affected is the national squad of North African Muslim-majority Algeria, the only Arab team to qualify for the tournament.

While some Muslim players have sought permission to eat and drink during the month, some are intent on fasting.

While there are only currently only 11 hours of daylight in Rio de Janeiro – making fasting easier - however the timing of the observance is not ideal for national coaches. The Ivory Coast’s Kolo Touré said that Ramadan makes him “feel even stronger. I think it’s amazing how Ramadan can make you really strong,” according to the Post

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Last Update: Monday, 30 June 2014 KSA 09:39 - GMT 06:39
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