The United Arab Emirates football team is skipping the Muslim fasting month this year to concentrate on its first appearance at the Olympic Games.
Coach Mahdi Redha said Wednesday the team wished the competition had not coincided with Ramadan but "it was a fact."
Observant Muslims abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan.
Those traveling, sick or otherwise unable to fast can do it later or give money to charity instead.
The UAE plays its first match Thursday against Uruguay, a team seen as a possible gold medal contender.
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