Muslim Teams Between Ramadan and World Cup

MOSCOW – The Egyptian ambassador to Russia, Ihab Nasr, said on Sunday, June 10, that Ramadan doesn’t disrupt the physical preparations of the Egyptian squad for the FIFA World Cup, as the players are fasting during daylight hours.

“All the Egyptian players are observing Ramadan in spite of the fatwa that allows them to postpone fasting for post-Ramadan and the world cup,” Nasr told Four Four Two.

The ambassador referred to the fatwa of the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Shawki Allam, who advised the national team to postpone their Ramadan fasting in the days building up to the World Cup in accordance with Shari`ah which exempts traveling Muslims and those working physically-demanding jobs from fasting on Ramadan.

Nasr added that Egypt’s first match in the tournament against Uruguay on June 15 will coincide with the celebration of `Eid Al-Fitr that comes after Ramadan.

The Egyptian squad has arrived in the city of Sölƶa Ġala Grozny, the capital of the Muslim republic of Chechnya on Sunday, where they will be based during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The tournament, which kicks off on June 14, has seven Muslim countries out of 32 participating, namely they are Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.

On the other hand, Tunisia’s vice-captain, Wahbi Khazri, told the Daily Mail on June 9 that his team’s World Cup preparations have been somehow challenging.

“It’s very difficult. We can’t eat or drink for long hours. It’s very complicated to prepare as we want,” he said.

In recent warm-up matches against Portugal and Turkey, the Tunisian players had their quick iftars during the matches and this proved inspired on both occasions Tunisia fought back to draw.

The previous FIFA 2014 World Cup coincided with Ramadan but the 2018 tournament coincides with the fasting month on its first ceremonial opening day only with the match of Saudi Arabia vs Russia.

What’s more special about this world cup is that six Muslim cities will take part in hosting some matches and will serve as camps for some squads.

The six cities are Sölƶa Ġala Grozny, and Kazan, the capital of the Muslim republic of Tatarstan, as well as Sochi, the capital of the Muslim country of Circassia.

That’s in addition to Yuğarı Oslan town in Tatarstan, and Circassia’s towns of Sinda Anapa and Gelendzhik.

Ramadan won’t coincide with the FIFA world cup again except in the year 2046.