Colombia 2011: Muslim Nigeria footballers to break fast in Ramadan

Eslam Omar, Wednesday 10 Aug 2011

Muslim players in the Nigeria Under 20 team will eat and drink during Ramadan when they play England

Nigeria U-20 players celebrating scoring against Croatia

Nigeria’s U-20 Muslim footballers will skip the daytime Ramadan fast when they take on England on Wednesday in the knock-out stage of the FIFA U-20 World Cup. “Led by skipper Ramon Azeez, those who are observing the Muslim Ramadan fast will also skip fast in the remaining match days of the Colombia 2011 championship,” Nigeria’s Leadership Newspapers reported on Monday.

The flying eagles include many Muslim players like Ogungbe, Abduljaleel Ajagun and Ahmed Musa, who have followed the lead of Azeez.

During Ramadan, Muslims are meant to fast from dawn to dusk. They can neither eat nor drink nor have sex during the day. The Quran makes exceptions for the ill, those who are travelling, the old and the weak. A few contemporary Muslim scholars have extended the license to footballers.

Muslims of the Egyptian National team, who left the Championship on Tuesday after a respectful 2-1 defeat before Argentina, insisted on fasting during the competition as Egyptian players usually do during Ramadan. And some flying eagles refuse to break their fast: the Kano Pillars midfielder Mohammed Shagari, for example.

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