100 days – Day 69: Ramadan and the World Cup
Ramadan coincides for the first time since 1986 with the World Cup. The 30-day period of fasting and prayer, which requires dawn to dusk abstinence from food, drink and sex, began on Saturday and is expected to end July 28.
Today – Monday, 30 June – will be particularly difficult for two particular teams – and especially Algeria. 99% of Algerians are Sunni Muslims – so, presumably, this statistic is the same for their national football team. Their opponents in this 16th round draw are Germany, within whose player ranks are the likes of Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, and Shkodran Mustafi – all Muslims.
According to AFP (h/t France24), the majority of Algeria’s players have decided to fast in spite of the potential health risks posed, particularly dehydration and associated potential injuries.
Brazilian physiologist Turibio Leite worked with athletes in Dubai during Ramadan for a number of years.
“When I lived there we couldn’t force the athletes to train without eating, so we trained during the night,” he said.
Luckily, daylight in Brazil adds up to only 11 hours, compared to 16 hours in Europe and England, which may give players a degree of respite.
Luckily, the disgraced Louis Suarez is not a Muslim
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