Match officials across the Premier League and EFL have been asked to allow Muslim players to break their fast during evening matches over the holy period of Ramadan.
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.
Two years ago, Leicester City’s match with Crystal Palace was 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
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The players that play in evening games across the divisions over the next month will be affected by the need they break their fast once the sun has set.
Refereeing bodies have now issued match officials guidance on how to accommodate a natural break in play such that players can break their fast by consuming drinks, energy gels, or supplements.
In fact, they have been urged to try and identify any players who would need to break their fast during the game and, where possible, to agree on a rough timing for this to occur before the game starts.
We’ve been in touch with the Football Association and PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) for comments.