Ligue 1 referees have reportedly received emails from the French Football Federation regarding Muslim players breaking fasts during domestic matches. The federation informed match officials that stopping play will not be allowed. This means that Muslim players can’t take a break to consume food or drink during games.

Followers of the Islamic faith are currently observing Ramadan. Muslims are not permitted to drink fluids or eat food from daybreak to sunset. Ramadan runs for about a month and will continue until Thursday, April 20th.

French Football Federation claims interruptions don’t respect rules

The aforementioned email leaked to the French press. French Football Federation officials informed referees that any in-game pauses for this reason will not be permitted. “These interruptions do not respect the provisions of the FFF Statutes,” read the email.

“It appears important to make a few reminders. The federation and the agreements are legal links which mark the adherence of clubs, players, managers, referees, and educators to the rules of the FFF, starting with article 1 of its statutes.”

The puzzling move is a drastically different approach when compared to the Premier League. England’s top flight will allow breaks for Muslim players during the month of Ramadan. The Daily Mail even claims that English clubs were asked to confer with each other on a time for the breaks to occur.

Doucoure praises Premier League’s stance

Everton midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure recently spoke with the BBC on how he feels playing in England as a Muslim. “We feel very confident here, very accepted and everything is in place for Muslim people to enjoy,” said Doucoure.

“In the Premier League, you are free to do whatever suits you. They will never do anything against your faith and this is great. I fast every day, I don’t miss any day. It has become normal and very easy for me.”

“Training is still the same during Ramadan, but when we go [for away matches], we might need to eat later than the others, so the chef prepares food for us, making sure everything is in place as at home. We get halal food so there are no problems.”

France’s Ligue 1 resumed on Friday night following the international break. Rennes host Lens later on Saturday evening in a time slot that could affect Muslim players thanks to the FFF ruling regarding fasting breaks.

Photo Credit: IMAGO / PanoramiC