Manchester United’s Marouane Fellaini, Fulham’s Moussa Dembele and Newcastle United player Cheick Tioté are amongst the Premier League players who will fast during the World Cup, for the first time since 1986.
Ramadan will commence on June 28, the first day of the second round matches. Fasts will last for the 11 hours of daylight in Rio de Janeiro, compared to 17-18 hours in the UK.
The practice of fasting, intended to teach Muslims self-discipline, self-restraint and generosity, consists of individuals refraining from all food and drink, from dawn until dusk.
Liverpool player Kolo Toure, last year described the positive affect of fasting: “You clean your body and you feel even stronger after Ramadan. I think it’s amazing.”
He continued, “You definitely need discipline. For me, the first five days are difficult but after that, the body just starts to [adapt] and you feel really happy.”
Addressing the practical difficulties of performing well whilst fasting, he acknowledged the support he receives both from management and fellow players: “With the doctor and all the people in the club, we try to work on that. They give me things that I can take to help me feel better.”
Muslims who will be fasting during the World Cup, by team: Belgium: Moussa Dembele, Marouane Fellaini. Bosnia: Edin Džeko. France: Karim Benzema, Mamadou Sakhto, Bacary Sagna, Moussa Sissoko. Germany: Mesut Özil, Sami Khedira. Ivory Coast: Kolo Toure, Yaya Toure, Cheick Tioté, Gervinho Yao Kouassi. Switzerland: Xherdan Shaqiri