In a heartfelt gesture, the Referee’s Body has proposed that the Premier League and the English Football League should allow players to break their fast during matches.
The proposal suggests that the league administration should permit fasting footballers to take a break from the game during iftar, where they can be provided with water, energy food, and supplements.
The proposal also recommends that the referees identify fasting footballers before the match and schedule a time for them to break their fast later.
This proposal could benefit Muslim footballers such as Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante, and Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez, who observe Ramadan fast during matches.
It is pertinent to mention here that in the 2021 English Premier League, players were given a half-hour break for iftar upon request from the team.
The proposal by the Referee’s Body could lead to greater inclusivity in the UK football leagues and is likely to be welcomed by many Muslim footballers and fans alike.
On Sunday 26 March, the Chelsea Foundation will host an Open Iftar at the side of the pitch at Stamford Bridge, in what will be a first for the club and a Premier League stadium.
This will be held as part of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting from before dawn to sunset, which started yesterday, March 23.