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France Advises Muslim Footballers to ‘Reschedule’ Their Fasts During International Duty

A recent controversy has emerged and it has been sparked by the French Football Federation (FFF) over a policy that reportedly prohibits Muslim players from fasting within the squad during the month of Ramadan.

The decision has been reportedly taken by the FFF in the name of the strict principle of neutrality and maintaining secularism in the country.

Muslim population in France stands at 10% and that means that they are a minority in the country who practice the faith and it seems the new policy enforces religious neutrality.

The holy month of Ramadan runs from March 11 to April 10 this year and reportedly according to the new rules, team meetings, group meals, and training sessions for the French senior and youth team will not be modified on account of any player’s religion.

French players have been told reportedly that they can make up for the days they have not fasted after the International break is over where the French National team will play two matches.

A player agent who represents several players for the youth and senior French teams said “Some players are not happy with this decision, Some don’t want to cause a fuss, but “they believe that their religion is not respected and that they are not respected either.”

President of the French Federation Phillipe Diallo defended the federation’s approach towards Ramadan and said, “There is no stigmatization of anyone, there is absolute respect for everyone’s convictions. But when we are in the French team, we must respect a framework.”

Youth midfielder Mahamadou Diawara has left the French men’s under-19 squad following the announcement of these rules and regulations and will not take part in the International matches during window.

France Football Federation received a lot of backlash last year as well after an email was leaked in which the referees were directed not to stop the game at sunset so that the players could break their fast during Ramadan amid matches, the email said, “A football field, a stadium, a gymnasium, are not places of political or religious expression, they are places of neutrality where values of sport, such as equality, fraternity, impartiality, learning to respect the referee, oneself, and others, must prevail.”

Despite landing in hot waters for such moves, the FFF continues to make these drastic measures in the name of secularism and the principle of neutrality not willing to learn from its mistakes.

  • Muslim players should leave the French football federation if the federation cannot respect the Islamic principles

    • Secularism applies on everyone if Muslims players have a problem so they can leave french team no one force them to play for France

  • Most of the muslim players representing the French National Team are of African Origin and thus qualify for African Nations. Many players such as Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Ousmane Dembele, Paul Pogba etc automatically qualify for African Nations through their roots. If this is the case and they think that their religion and culture is not respected then they should leave the French NT and start representing the African Nations where they will be far more respected and will have better playing time. This step will leave the FFF in shock and will push them to rethink about their stance and policies.

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