Ramadan poses a challenge for World Cup athletes

Ramadan begins today, posing a challenge for World Cup competitors who are Muslim. From Religion News Service:

As the World Cup reaches the quarter finals this Saturday (June 28), a number of Muslim players whose teams have made it through the tough group matches will be facing a bigger challenge off the field than on it.

The holy month of Ramadan coincides for the first time since 1986 with the soccer tournament. The 30-day period of fasting and prayer, which requires dawn to dusk abstinence from food, drink and sex, begins Saturday and is expected to end July 28.

It will be a critical testing time for practicing Muslim players who need to be in peak condition to meet the demands of the game during the knockout matches. Add to this Brazil’s heat and humidity, which has prompted required breaks every 30 minutes to rehydrate athletes with water.

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