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Ramadan, World Cup performance enhancer?

World Cup Muslim player: Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard
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As the World Cup group stage is about to end on July 26th, the survivors of the group stages will go into their knockout rounds on July 28th. What’s interesting is that, for those who are Muslim they should all know that July 28th is the starting date of the month-long Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and those who are Muslims are required to fast from dawn until sunset, refrain from consuming food, drinking liquid, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and those who are Muslims are required to fast from dawn until sunset, refrain from consuming food, drinking liquid, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations.

So what has Ramadan got to do with the World Cup?

World Cup Muslim player: German midfielder Mesut Ozil
World Cup Muslim player: German midfielder Mesut Ozil
World Cup Muslim player: French strike Karim Benzema
World Cup Muslim player: French strike Karim Benzema

The World Cup consists of national teams that consist of players who have been known to be Muslims. For example French striker Karim Benzema, German midfielder Mesut Ozil, Swiss striker Xherdan Shaqiri, Belgian midfielders Marouane Fellaini and Eden Hazard, and Dutch striker Robin Van Persie are the start players that will play during the knockout stage and also participate in the month-long Ramadan.

World Cup Muslim player: Dutch striker Robin Van Persie
World Cup Muslim player: Dutch striker Robin Van Persie

During the knockout stage it will be physically and mentally challenging for the players to practice and play during a crucial match. Many coaches and professionals are also concerned about the player’s conditions as Brazil is known for their hot and humid weather which will require the players to drink a lot of water to keep their bodies readily hydrated.

“If you do it intelligently, then you can adapt perfectly. Before the sun comes up, they have enough hydration to go on through the whole day,”

World Cup Muslim player: Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard
World Cup Muslim player: Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard

In advance to the collision between Ramadan and the World Cup, FIFA has commissioned studies related to effects of fasting and found results that “If you do it intelligently, then you can adapt perfectly. Before the sun comes up, they have enough hydration to go on through the whole day,” said Dr. Michel D’Hooghe, the chairman of FIFA’s medical committee and a member of its executive committee.

Now that we know what Ramadan is and how much it can affect the players in their performance abilities, let’s enjoy the game with a cultural understanding of each player.

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1 comment

  1. So, I have a huge issue with this article. I’ve checked multiple source to check whether or not Robin Van Persie is a Muslim, and he is not. He may have participated in Ramadan, but he is not a practicing Muslim. Van Persie called Islam a beautiful religion, but went on to say that he is not a Muslim, nor a Christian, now a Jew. There’s also speculation that Eden Hazard, a fabulous Belgian Midfielder, is not a practicing Muslim. Don’t make these players out to be more than what they are.

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