In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- The majority holds the view that players cannot skip the obligatory fasts of Ramadan.
2- Some eminent scholars maintain that while the above applies to players in general, they make an exception in case of those who are professional or training to be professionals as a primary source of living.
3- Each player should decide the matter based on his stamina and level of endurance in consultation with a physician and personal experience.
In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
Scholars are divided on this issue. The majority holds the view that footballers cannot skip the obligatory fasts of Ramadan.
The play is play; as such, it is not a dire necessity to make the use of the concession. The concession is allowed only for valid reasons such as sickness, travel or old age.
As opposed to the above, some eminent scholars maintain that while the above applies to players in general, they make an exception in case of those who are professional or training to be professionals as a primary source of living.
Those in the latter category may skip the fast (as long as they make up for it later) under the following conditions:
1- They are professionals or training for professional as a source of livelihood, and they are not allowed to forego the play during Ramadan hours.
2- They are unable to endure the rigors of fasting and fear dehydration endangering their health if they continue fasting while playing.
3- Each person should decide for himself as he alone knows how his or her stamina and endurance by taking into account the advice of his or her physician or one’s level of tolerance.
4- We cannot issue a blanket ruling allowing all players to skip the fast during Ramadan. For hardship and ability to endure can vary from person to person. That is we have no shortage of players who continue to fast while playing or training without any serious adverse effect, while others are not able to endure the same.
These scholars base this ruling on the following precedents and principles:
Earlier great jurists such as Ibn Hajar al-Haythami as well some eminent scholars from Al-Azhar have ruled that those who are engaged in hard, manual labor can skip the fast if they cannot continue their work while fasting because of fear of dehydration endangering their health.
Furthermore, some scholars also have ruled that students taking exams or preparing for exams on which their career is dependent (as long one is not allowed to defer or postpone it) can also skip the fast if they have no other choice.
Having said this, let me reiterate the fact that we cannot generalize the rule; instead each player should decide the matter based on his stamina and level of endurance in consultation with a physician and personal experience.
Almighty Allah knows best.