France once again proves its bias and its Islamophobia which affects the world of football by refusing players fasting during Ramadan to take a break of just a few minutes to break their fast. Meanwhile, in Great Britain, the Premier League, the most watched football competition in the world, has taken the lead in organizing an entire communication campaign to introduce this new measure promoting inclusion and tolerance.
The vital and human needs to feed after several hours of fasting are ignored and flouted in France. After having banned the wearing of the veil for female athletes, having banned the wearing of the burkini in swimming pools, having launched a heated debate for many years on the wearing of the veil, France continues to crack down on Muslims.
Closed mosques, dissolution of the Council of Muslim worship, and Islamophobic articles in profusion in the French media in the absence of articles speaking of other religions such as Christianity or Judaism, France continues its radical Islamophobic turn under cover.
The French Football Federation (FFF) will not allow breaks during evening matches to allow Muslim players to break their Ramadan fast.
“It has been brought to the attention of the Federation of match interruptions following the breaking of the Ramadan fast. These interruptions do not respect the provisions of the Statutes of the FFF, ”said a letter from the French Football Federation threatening criminal prosecution for anyone breaking their fast.
The Federal Commission of Referees (CFA) of the FFF wanted to justify this simply inhuman decision by the fact that it would be a question of “neutrality of football on the places of practice” and prohibitions “of speeches or displays of a political nature , ideological, religious or union” during its competitions, when it is a question of breaking a fast by drinking water, something normally allowed, and if necessary dates or foods rich in carbohydrates to compensate for the deficit during several hours of fasting.
This decision by the FFF is purely political and not sporting and the email explains it explicitly: “The Federation and its decentralized bodies, as bodies responsible for a public service mission delegated by the State , defend the fundamental values of the French Republic”.
According to the text of the email sent to the officials, this ban would be in favor of Muslim players to “prevent any discrimination or attack on the dignity of a person due in particular (…) to his political and religious convictions”.
On the other side of the Channel, the English football league has introduced this year, this arrangement during matches for Muslim players. The news was widely welcomed among fans and players.
English football clubs have taken to showing video greetings on the occasion of the month of Ramadan in the presence of players, as is customary for Christmas and the Christian players who celebrate it.
On Premier League club social media, special Ramadan posts are being created, stories and interactive videos to wish well-wishes to their supporters including players of different faiths. The goal is to popularize the specificities of the month of Ramadan to a public that is foreign to it and to communicate around the values of respect and tolerance.
Several major clubs have been playing the game of making educational and entertaining videos on Ramadan on their Youtube channel for several years, such as the Manchester City club or West Ham, which brought together Muslim players Kurt Zouma around a table made up of Ramadan dishes. and Nayef Aguerd as well as Flynn Downes to explain Iftar. The video has already compiled in 9 days more than 286,000 views.
For 10 years, the atmosphere of the month of Ramadan has been part of the British landscape and brings together all the components of British society. As for Christmas, the streets of London lit up with crescent moon decorations and traditional lanterns, and “Happy Ramadan” messages.
In South Kensington, a Ramadan pavilion was erected and an Open Iftar was held at the Victoria and Albert Museum for Muslims and non-Muslims alike to sample traditional dishes from the fast-breaking table in a bid to bring people together communities, foster dialogue and develop understanding of Ramadan.
For the 10th anniversary of the Open Iftar initiated by the Ramadan Tent Project, the organization collaborated with Chelsea FC. The London club organized an Iftar on the edge of its lawn on March 26 with the collaboration of local mosques, members of the Muslim community, pupils, supporters and club staff.