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- The goalkeeper for the Tunisian soccer team faked injuries at sundown in a pair of recent matches so that his teammates could break their fast and fill up on water and snacks.
- It is currently Ramadan, a time when Muslims are expected to forgo drinks or food during the daytime.
- A lot of Muslim soccer players are affected by Ramadan, and the approach to handling Ramadan and its requirement for fasting varies from player to player.
Faking or exaggerating an injury is not exactly new to soccer, but at least the goalkeeper for Tunisia, Mouez Hassen has a pretty understandable reason for it, as reported by the BBC.
At sundown during a pair of recent international matches, Hassen faked an injury so that his teammates could rush to the sidelines to finally feed themselves.
Tunisian National team has played the last two friendlies while fasting. So, whenever the time comes to break Fast. The players have an agreement that the GK would go down so they can get a moment to drink some water and get something to eat ????????#Ramadan #tunisia pic.twitter.com/4Rgz380ukW
— Souhail Khmira (@SKhmira) June 2, 2018
Players for Tunisia are currently fasting, as is part of the traditional custom of honouring the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. As such, they are not allowed to consume any foods or liquids between sunrise and sunset, not the ideal diet for a group of athletes trying to get ready to participate in the biggest sporting event in the world.
So, Hassen’s “injuries” allowed his teammates a chance to drink water and snack on dates, as the BBC report noted.
Hassen later had some fun talking about the incidents on Twitter, saying, “I was hurting, bro,” according to Twitter’s translate feature.
Ramadan generally runs through May and June, pivotal months for soccer’s elite. Egypt and Liverpool star Mohammed Salah decided to stop fasting to prepare for the Champions League final, for instance. And Germany and Arsenal midfielder Mesut Özil has previously declined to fast in international tournaments, as did Paul Pobga during Euro 2016.
Meanwhile, Egypt has brought in a specialist to help its players stay in shape if they fast, while players from Saudi Arabia will likely fast intermittently, despite being permitted to postpone their fasts.
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