Unprofessional Foul


July 28, 2010

Thou Shalt Not Eat, Unless Your Boss Says To

Still not allowed. For now.

If Mahmoud Ahmedinejad had a problem with Germany yesterday because of a prognosticating pulpo, I can only imagine how ticked off he is today. Because today, in Germany, it was announced that an agreement was reached between football authorities and a Muslim group that players may break their fast during Ramadan if necessary to play a match.

Ramadan, for those not disposed to know what the Islamic calendar is like, is the Islamic month of fasting. As it follows a lunar cycle, it does not occur at a set time each year. The fasting takes place during the day, and in some Muslim countries there are civic penalties to pay for eating during the day. Suffice it to say, they take this seriously.

In 2010, Ramadan runs from mid-August to early September. In 2011, it uses most of the month of August. (Worth watching–if my math holds, in 2014 Ramadan will be smack in the middle of the World Cup)

Which is why,when German second division club FSV Frankfurt pursued formal sanctions on three of its players for fasting during Ramadan last year, a solution had to be found. Eventually a theological institute in Egypt ruled that if football is the only source of a player’s income, and if he needs to eat during the day in order to play, then that player may break fasting.

So far, this ruling only applies to Germany, as far as I know, so you’ll still have to adjust your fantasy football and baseball lineups accordingly.

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  1. dan

    Ramadan 2014: 28th of June through the 27th of July
    (courtesy http://www.when-is.com/ramadan-2014.asp)

    World Cup 2014: 13 June – 13 July
    (courtesy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_FIFA_World_Cup)

    So there is overlap, but not the whole Cup.

  2. interesting because I know NBA players have abided by Ramadan in the past without any special dispensation from religious groups. Most notable is Hakeem Olajuwon.

  3. ebullientfatalist

    @dan: You expecting Iran to make a deep run in 2014?

  4. James T

    (consults Soccernomics to see how Iran stack up)

  5. Norfolk Ned

    Safri would fast when he was at Norwich.

  6. I think it didn’t matter as much with Olajuwon as NBA games are mostly at night and he could, theoretically eat and drink before, or at least during, the games. Also, some Saudi cleric just said it was alright for French Muslim women to go without a full veil in light of France’s recent ban. As always, I look forward to Roberto Mancini’s take on all of this.

  7. Ha! I was going to reference Olajuwon, but figured almost no one would remember.

  8. dan-
    So, right when the knockouts begin. There will be repercussions.

  9. Ryan

    @ef: I’d be more concerned for your Germans than for Iran. Ozil and Khedira to name two.

  10. u75: I’ll raise you a Shareef Adbdur Rahim.

  11. or Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf

  12. that would be the three nba players i know for certain observed the fasting rituals of ramadan. i know others are muslim but don’t know if they observed the fasting rules.

  13. little bit of googling tells me Nazr Mohammed obersves as well.

  14. Which one of those was the Epileptic from LSU? Abdul-Rauf? Remember a great SI article about him when he was Chris Jackson.

  15. Anonsters

    “The Epileptic from LSU.” Sounds like a country song. Or a wrestling name.

  16. u75: Wiki says he had tourette’s but i seem to remember him being OCD. I don’t think he epileptic though.

  17. sorry, yes Abdul-Rauf was formerly Chris Jackson.

  18. كازينو

    Hi guys, tried loading this blog through Google RSS reader and got a strange error message, any ideas what could be the issue?

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