Chelsea’s Muslim star Kalidou Koulibaly has praised the Premier League’s care for Muslim players observing Ramadan fasting, especially the decision to pause games to allow them to break their fast.
Since the start of Ramadan, several English league fixtures have stopped midway through the first-half, just after sunset, so players fasting for the Islamic holy month can take on board food and drink.
Playing against Liverpool last week, Chelsea Muslim players Koulibaly, Wesley Fofana and N’Golo Kante had the opportunity to re-energize at Maghreb time.
“During Ramadan, team-mates see us praying and ask what we are doing,” the Senegalese international defender told The BBC.
“Most of the time they think Ramadan is about not eating or drinking, but it is about more than that.
“It is about understanding what we are reading in the Quran, the religion, our behavior and our Prophet Muhammad too.
“We have to explain that to them, so when someone asks, we are able to give an answer.”
“When you come here and see that they stop games for Muslims to refuel, have some drinks and recharge a little bit, it is amazing.
“It never happened to me so that is why this feeling is amazing. I saw it on TV when Wesley was at Leicester breaking his fast during the game, it was amazing.
“When they do it for you, it is incredible. I was really happy and I look forward to it again.”
The English Premier League was praised after announcing that players would be permitted to break their fast mid-match during the Muslim fasting month.
The BBC reported there are 253 Muslim players in the first teams and academies of the top four tiers of the English game and they’re required to juggle training and matches with the obligations of the Islamic holy month.