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France Football Federation rejects pausing match to break Ramadan fast

April 2, 2023 at 3:46 pm

Players of France line up ahead of the UEFA EURO 2024 Qualifying Round against Netherlands at Stade de France in Paris [Ibrahim Ezzat – Anadolu Agency]

France has rejected a request to pause football matches during Ramadan to allow Muslim players to break their fast. The French Football Federation (FFF) has stated that it will not pause matches during the holy month, which could take a minute or less, as it could impact the integrity of the league.

The decision has sparked controversy and criticism from some Muslim groups in France, who argue that it shows a lack of respect for religious diversity in the country. The issue is also likely to reignite debates about the treatment of Muslims in France, following a series of controversial government policies in recent years.

Despite the decision, some Muslim players are expected to continue playing during Ramadan, while others may choose to sit out matches in order to observe the fast.

According to reports, the Federal Commission of Referees (CFA) sent an email to referees reminding them of the ban and stating that “these interruptions do not respect the provisions of the statutes of the FFF.” The email also warned that disciplinary and/or criminal proceedings would be initiated against anyone violating the provisions.

In contrast, the English Premier League announced last week that players would be permitted to break their fast mid-match during the Muslim fasting month.

READ: Egyptian football clubs launch the Ramadan Games