Mohamed Salah prays ahead of a match at Anfield in Liverpool. AFP
Syed Shayaan Bakht, Gulf Today
The Referees Committee in the English Premier League decided to stop the evening matches in the first division and the following, during the month of Ramadan, in order to allow Muslim players the opportunity to break the fast.
The committee directed the referees to allow any Muslim player to break the fast during the evening matches during the month of Ramadan, in addition to allowing a natural pause for any fasting Muslim player or person before resuming the match, according to the British media.
It is noteworthy that this is not the first time that matches will be stopped to allow Muslim players to break the fast, as it happened in the Leicester City and Crystal Palace match in Ramadan 2021.
This was done after the two clubs agreed with referee Graham Scott, so that the duo, Wesley Fofana and Cheikhou Kouyaté, would be allowed to break their fast during the match.
Referees have also been encouraged to identify players who are fasting prior to kickoff and agree an estimated time for the pause in play.
Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante and Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez are among players who are expected to abstain from eating and drinking during daylight hours.
For many Muslims navigating restrictions, that means hopes of a better Ramadan than last year have been dashed with the surge in infection rates though regulations vary in different countries.
The fasting time doesn’t make any difference to a Muslim who observes the fasting month in its true spirit (“This city has 22 hours of fasting time, the longest in the world,” May 2, Gulf Today).
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