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11th Apr 2023

Kalidou Koulibaly praises Premier League’s ‘amazing’ Ramadan breaks

Callum Boyle

The Premier League has introduced breaks to benefit Muslim players fasting this month

Kalidou Koulibaly has praised the Premier League for halting games so that Muslim players are able to break their Ramadan fast.

A number of fixtures across England have been paused after sunset so that those participating in the Islamic holy month are able to take on board food and drink.

Chelsea’s midweek fixture against Liverpool last week was one of those temporarily paused and Kouliably – who joined from Napoli at the start of the season – said it was ‘amazing’ that the league were helping its Muslim players.

“When you come here and see that they stop games for Muslims to refuel, have some drinks and recharge a little bit, it is amazing,” he told BBC Sport.

“It never happened to me so that is why this feeling is amazing.

“I saw it on TV when Wesley was at Leicester breaking his fast during the game, it was amazing.

“When they do it for you, it is incredible. I was really happy and I look forward to it again.”

Clubs have been able to request to the Premier League and EFL to allow officials to pause an evening game so that Muslim players are able to eat and rehydrate, with referees encouraged to speak to those participating beforehand.

Last month, the two-time European champions became the first top-flight club to hold an open Iftar event in which they welcomed people from the local community to break their fast pitchside at Stamford Bridge.

The BBC reported that there are currently 253 Muslim players at the top four tiers of English football who have to balance training and match days alongside the obligatory requirements during Ramadan.

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