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French Football Federation Refuses to Allow Muslim Players to Break Fast

Islamabad: The French Football Federation (FFF) has ignited controversy once again by refusing to accommodate Muslim players observing Ramadan, declining to pause evening matches to allow them to break their fast.

In a recent notice sent to football clubs, referees’ committees, and match organizers, the FFF reaffirmed its decision not to interrupt matches during the holy month, stating that Muslim players will not be allowed to break their fast during matches at sunset during Ramadan.

The Federal Commission of Referees (CFA) representative, Eric Borghini, elucidated the FFF’s position, stating that while no new recommendations have been issued this year, any instance of match interruptions during Ramadan would prompt a reminder. Borghini emphasized the expectation that such interruptions would not occur, expressing surprise at the prospect.

Citing its statutes and code of ethics, the FFF justifies its decision by equating match interruptions for fast-breaking with acts of proselytizing or propaganda, asserting that such measures contravene the principle of neutrality. This rationale aligns with the FFF’s prohibition on the wearing of headscarves during matches.

In contrast to the FFF’s stance, other European football leagues, such as the English Premier League, have taken a more accommodating approach. Last year, the Premier League urged referees to pause matches to allow Muslim players to break their fast during Ramadan. Similarly, countries like Germany and the Netherlands have adopted similar practices to accommodate fasting players.

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