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Is it right to drop a fasting footballer?

August 26th, 2009
12:26 PM ET

Football coach Jose Mourinho, ever the headline creator, has caused further outcry this week after he substituted Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari from his Inter Milan side in an Italian league game against Bari.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/26/muntari.art.jpg caption="Is it fair for Sulley Muntari to be dropped because of the effects of his religious practices?"]

Taking a tired player from the field of play was hardly breaking news - or at least it wasn't until Mourinho revealed the move had been prompted because the player's perceived "low-energy levels" were as a result of fasting.

Muntari is a practising Muslim who, like many of the same faith around the world, is currently not eating during the hours of daylight to mark the Ramadan holy period.

A clearly irked Mourinho said at a post-match press conference: "Muntari had some problems related to Ramadan, perhaps with this heat it's not good for him to be doing this (fasting). Ramadan has not arrived at the ideal moment for a player to play a football match."

Muslim leaders in Italy have criticized the opinions of the coach known as the "Special One" - but Mourinho did not rule out the possibility of dropping the player for the Milan derby, between arch rivals Inter Milan and AC Milan, this weekend for the same reason.

Is it right to drop a fasting footballer?
Elsewhere in Italy, fellow Muslim and Siena striker Abdelkader Ghezzal, added to the debate by revealing he cannot fast and play at the same time.

"I've always observed Ramadan but I have had to change my habits for health reasons from the first year that I became a professional," he said. "Before that I played at Crotone [while fasting] but after two weeks I felt ill and had to stop."

Is Mourinho right to take account of how religious practices may affect his players' performance? Is it wrong to drop a fasting footballer whose energy levels may be lower than his teammates? Or can a player of faith perform better in a period of self-enforced discipline? Can sport and religion be separated in a satisfactory way?

Let us know your thoughts below - and we’ll use them as part of our coverage in the show tonight.

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Filed under:  General
soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. Tarek

    I dont think there is anything wrong if he subs him after noticing the player wasnt performing well. 1) its for the sake of the player becuase he might risk dihydration, and 2) its for the sake of the team to sub him, which happens in every match.

    I think subbing him and benching him for the next match because he is fasting is normal, mourinho wants what is best for the team, and sees no point in putting mountari then removing him after 30mins of play, as this would disrupt this strategy and the play on the field

    I think his remarks, of "this fast" were abit disrespectful towards ramadan. Had he rephrased what he said, things would have been different and not all this outcry would have occured. but also, alot of attention has been made on this thing, and it has been magnified more than it should be i think .

    August 26, 2009 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  2. A

    He dropped him because he was not in a healthy state to play. Why is this being made into an issue or even newsworthy?

    August 26, 2009 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  3. Terry-UK

    I dont think the Jose was right to sub him and I think people over complicate things, he was subbed because he was tired full stop!! He was tired because of his fasting but Jose played him anyway and subbed him when he got tired as he would sub any other tired player!

    Right choice in my eyes.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:01 pm | Reply
  4. Ashmead

    Hakim Olijuwan used to play the full game of basketball for Huston whilst fasting. It never appeared to affect his ability. It is COMPULSORY for the devout Muslim to fast unless he is ill. If his fasting is noticibly affecting his ability then the owners and managers may well be justified in ASKING him to sit out part or all of the game.

    Abdelkedar is WRONG! He has sold out his religion for the proverbial 30 pieces of silver!

    August 26, 2009 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  5. Helgi Eidesgaard

    A football team nowadays consists of highly trained individuals, who often follow strict diets during the entire course of the season in order to keep their performance levels as high as possible. Of course the players must be allowed to practice their faith, but at the same time they cannot escape the fact that this fasting will harm their performance levels during this specific period, and will leave them short of their regular amounts of nourishment. The players must know this, and must also be ready to be dropped for a couple of weeks, because in these top clubs, competition for starting places is immense, and there will always be another player irking to get into the starting line-up. If a player cannot perform up to his best, then there is no other way than for the gaffer to put the respective player up into the stands, until the player has regained his usual level of performance.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  6. akka

    Who cares what's the reason?
    If the player is weaker than his teammates, he has to be replaced on the field.
    The real question is : should a professional player fast and make himself volontarily "unusable" when his team relies on him?

    August 26, 2009 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  7. Jon

    I have absolutely no doubt that if the player was performing the same or better, he would be in the team. The coach just wants to win, and so conversely the player can't expect to play if he is not up to par.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  8. This seems very simple

    This seems very simple. It is the players right to practice his/her religious beliefs. It is the team’s right to field players that it feels will give it the highest probability of winning. Additionally, I also feel it is the owner’s right to implement contracts that will enforce financial sanctions on a player should their personal activities (religious, entertainment, etc.) inhibit their ability to fulfill their contractual obligations; just as it is the player’s right to negotiate a contract where they are not sanctioned for personal activities. In reality this is just another mater that should be considered by owners and players before making contractual obligations to one another. I am not a party to Muntari’s contract; however, I am certain there isn’t a clause in the contract that stipulates that Inter must play him “no matter what”. I wish Inter good luck in the Milan derby and I wish Muntari and peaceful Ramadan. I also wish that this event was not deemed news worthy.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  9. Jasmine

    This is ridiculous on several levels:

    First of all – why is this even news? Of COURSE the coach has to drop a player who is too tired / weak to be playing ... no matter what the cause.

    Secondly – is this even upsetting *anyone* (the coach's opinions have been "criticized" but that doesn't really say much)

    Finally – I return to my first point. Why is this news? Much less front-page CNN news...

    August 26, 2009 at 1:23 pm | Reply
  10. Ehsan

    Mourinho did the best thing.

    As a muslim I can see his point of view. How can you run if you were not eating in the past 14 hours and with no water. Muslims please stop acting like a child and think the whole world is against us.

    Mourinho is thinking about his team and careless about what other think.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  11. Vincent Onwe

    I think for the sake of their health, professional sports men and women should always consider their religious stand at a time they are required to carry out their duties as players. They can maybe cancel their fasting whenever it is necessary so as not to hurt themselves on the long run.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  12. UU

    This athlete is paid a huge amount to perform at his peak and to ensure that he can continue to do so. If he were to drink too much alcohol he would probably be in breach of contract.
    Likewise, if he fasts he is in breach of contract. Being Muslim is his decision, not the club's, and he needs to take responsibility for that decision.
    Finally, speaking from personal experience as a firefighter, I can assure you that dehydration in conditions of heat and strenuous exercise is extremely dangerous (Ramadan requires not drinking as well as not eating) and the coach's decision is spot on from a safety perspective. If this person seriously expects to be able to play safely under his self-imposed conditions, he is an idiot.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  13. Mohammed

    Islam is very modern religion and take into consideration of every situation of human life. Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) left examples behind with his own life for every situation of a human being can go through and still practice the religion. Fasting for a fixed number of days; But if any of you ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number should be made up from days later (Quran 2.184). Mr. Muntari had the option depending on his situation. Also, if coach made a decision for the best interest of the team which is not unusual and shouldn't be an issue.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  14. Alejandro Bonilla

    Why is this NEWS? If the player is not strong, he/she needs to be taken out. Nothing else. Religion or not.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  15. Aria

    its up to the player to decide whether he'll play while fasting or not, and its up to the manager to sub him if he's not playing well enough. there's nothing wrong with fasting and playing at the same time, there is not much risk of dehydration if you drink enough water before and after fasting (Suhour and Iftar)

    August 26, 2009 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  16. shaikh va

    It is true that this should not be a news in the first place.
    While fasting, a player is at his best, the question of benching does not arise.
    If he is underperforming he may be replaced, whatever the reason.
    this is my personal opinion.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  17. Steve

    Of course it's right! If a player doesn't have enough energy because he doesn't eat it's obvious that he shouldn't play. Typical that "certain individuals" immediately have to complain about Mourinhos statement. Mourinho is absolutely right.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:49 pm | Reply
  18. darryl

    stop being clowns, fasting takes a toll on oneself and the player cannot be expected to play. it is the coach's duty to have the player's health and interests at heart. imagine if the player became unwell because of this- Mourinho would be the first to be blamed

    August 26, 2009 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  19. Pete

    I guess the football player has to choose which is more important; being fit for work, or his religion. If my employer discovered that I wasn't fit for work one month every year, then I'd be fired. This is another case of eastern religions clashing with the western world. Who would have thought that in the 21st century, we'd be dealing with religious issues that have existed for over 2100 years.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  20. Orazio

    Mourinho's words, Lord's words !
    This is normal in that ubeliveable Country called Italy where a large part of people have their holydays during a very special roman ' Ramadan ' known as ' Ferragosto ' 30 days long.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  21. Abdel Rahman

    Could you play football and observe Ramadan? It depends:

    Me personally, I tend to get dehydrated quickly, so playing during daylight hours would be torture. Here in Riyadh, during Ramadan we play our sports late night.

    But even though, nutrition issues come into question. You have to make sure you get the right amount of nutrition during the fast-breaking meal. Like I learned earlier this week, if you dont eat right, your gonna get ill after playing. But thats on an amateur level.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:55 pm | Reply
  22. Sonia Gakuru

    Mourinho is within his rights as far as gauging his players performance. However I feel that his comments as far as Ramadhan is concerned were disrespectful. It is not Ramadhan that has to conform to football!!

    If the player shows signs of weakness due to dehydration, lack of stamina e.t.c then the coach has every right to pull him off the game. He doesn't have to moan about it!!! But alas we are talking about Mourinho here.


    August 26, 2009 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  23. Adrian

    Why is this frontpage news on CNN? I frequently read the Italian media and sporting websites such as "Gazzetta dello Sport" and there was little noise about Mourinho's actions.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  24. AlphaCharlie

    It's front page news because it's been portrayed as "Anti-Muslim", even though it is clearly a sound managment decision based on performance - not faith.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Reply
  25. Adil

    Hakeem Olaujuwon fasted in the NBA playoffs and he performed amazingly well.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Reply
  26. Hany

    Where is the problem? I guess the coach should be criticized if he forces his player not to observe Ramadan, but if allows him to fast and at the same time relieves him from playing the game, then he should be much-admired for doing so.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:01 pm | Reply
  27. smart

    This should not make a head line, if he is not fit he is not fit.
    Whether ramadam or no ramadam.
    The coach reserve the right to drop whom he dems not fit.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  28. Joao Rosado

    Obviously Mourinho made the right choice for obvious reasons. I would also like to congratulate Mourinho once again for not being afraid of speaking what is really on his mind. Each day the the western world is more "afraid" of speaking of the muslim culture, so congratulations Mr. Mourinho.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  29. Obi

    Murinho has the right to drop a player if he feels he is unfit. His mistake was to stir up an issue with Ramadan. Before he signed the player he knew he was muslim so should espect that. Also Christians do fast as well. Murinho as a manager should be intelligent enough as not to have brought uop the issue of Ramandan. At his time at chelsea he had players who fasted during Ramadan so its not knew to him. this is just the attitude of a man who just likes getting on the headlines

    August 26, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  30. DP

    I think are some "escape clauses" as far as fasting during Ramdadan is concerned. I believe that menstruating women are exempt from fasting, but make up the days at a later time. Why can't the players do the same?

    August 26, 2009 at 2:19 pm | Reply
  31. Aisha

    I respect every faith and people that want to be good religious followers. I do not agree that one should be engaging in physical activities of that kind while fasting. I am a Muslim myself but I do understand the different circumstances we live in, so I understand coach Mourinho. He acted well and to protect his player from a worsening health condition.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:19 pm | Reply
  32. Chris

    This is a tricky subject which was not addressed in the correct manner by Mourinho. As most clubs now employ nutritionists and numbers of doctors Muntari should not have even played in the first place due to low hydration and nutrition levels. The player himself should rule himself out for the Ramadan period as he could cause himself serious damage whilst playing.

    I think this should be put alongside playing a player who has a hangover – they cannot play! Admittedly with the amount of money they are getting paid it should be in the players contract that if they want to practice their religious beliefs i.e. Ramadan they should not play during that period and also should not be paid.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  33. Samir

    Muntari, good decision to stick to your religion and fast...
    Mourinho, good decision to replace Muntari because he was not performing...
    Lets not make this a Ramadan/ Islam issue!!!!!!
    We need to stop this....
    The player is not fit to play, he was replaced by the coach....NO BIG DEAL!

    August 26, 2009 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  34. Roland

    I am a Christain and there is nothing wrong for a player adhereing to his faith. But it is obvious that you cannot fast and still be strong for the game of football.

    Muslims should stop creating problem with any comment from any conner of this world.

    Afterall Morinho is the head of the club and football is a compition, and for results only.

    Muntari should go and play in the mosque if he is offended.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  35. Confused

    My name says it all... surely this is not news!!!

    the guy wants to fast, go for it... Mourinho wants to win, go for it. Who cares why he replaced him. The guy did not have the energy level required for his duties, end of story.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  36. Murtado

    It is an insult to islam (the religion of peace)! Ppl should respect islam and live with it.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  37. Chris

    I think anything can be news. News can be defined as: new information of any kind.

    Everyone's opinion should be respected but not necessarily agreed to.

    Mourinho has a responsibility to his team and employers, and Muntari has a responsibility to himself, his religion and his team. Mourinho is the boss and determines how he plays his team, what he plays and why he plays whatever he plays. He is entitled to sub Muntari for whatever reason and does not need to justify why. Muntari owes it to himself to be a professional and be available for the team and boss. If fasting is done properly, people can still perform at a good level.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  38. Al

    This does not warrant contraversy. Whatever your religious beliefs, not eating from sunup to sundown can, of course, effect your ability to play. While I am no Jose fan, he is correct here. If it is effecting Muntari's play, not only should he be benched, he should be docked pay for not performing under contract. Some Orthodox will not work, including playing sports, on Sunday (or Saturday, depending on the religion)- if they cannot then play on these days should we applaud them for being religious? Of course not. Religion is not supposed to be part of the pitch, thus:
    1) Bench and dock Muntari until he can get a nutritionist who can help him out.
    2) Per FIFA rules: ban the Brazilian players who decided to display god on their underpants during the friendlies two months back.

    Kick Racism, homophobia and religious (and, therefore, religious bias) out of the sport!

    August 26, 2009 at 2:45 pm | Reply
  39. carlos

    It is absolutely right to dump your player if he is not playing his best for whatever reason he has. A player is meant to give all his best no matter what his religion is. Every player knows the negative effect of fasting on their performance and if they are willing to take the obvious risks, the coach has to dump them out. Not to get the best of your player for more than a month is very disturbing. In the future, coaches may even consider this while contemplating to sign a player. This definitely will not have positive impact on the player’s contract. In total, if you are a player and will do anything that decreases your productivity, you to be blamed. Your religion is for your sake not for us. Mourinho is right.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  40. FG

    Sports like many other things are a business. Players get payed to perform. In this case if an athlete decides to participate in a ritual that hinders his ability to perform at a professional level the coaching staff have every right to remove him from the game...

    August 26, 2009 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  41. Ali-Reza

    The mister is the mister.

    If a player, even for religious reasons like in this case, is not able to be competitive, it deserves to be sitting aside, and letting others, that are fit, to do the job.

    Now, there are also others that want to see the fifth leg of the cat.....

    I would maybe let him without pay too. I mean why not ? Those footballers get paid for playing games (huge amounts), if they can't play games, why are they get paid ?

    When i dont work, I dont get paid (self-employed), so if I decide to do ramadan, YES IT'S MY RIGHT, but then I also have to understand that I won't make any money, so not a living... Viva free IRAN V V

    August 26, 2009 at 3:03 pm | Reply
  42. dear orji agwu onuoha

    we are in a free world the player should choose. to stop the ramadan and play foothball or sit at the bench. you just cant eat your cake and have it. period.foothball is a very hard game and demands hard training. who will be blamed if something goes wrong? A stitch in time saves nine

    August 26, 2009 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  43. Asim

    It is allowed for a Muslim to miss a fast. This can be compensated by keeping a fast on another day after Ramadan finishes or by feeding the poor and various other ways too.

    Islam is a flexible religion and allows its followers flexibility in all situations. God is merciful beyond anyones imagination.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  44. liverpool-fan

    Oh gosh, he is tired even Lebanese yesterday played a match admitting the players are exhausted (of course under heat at Middle East). Europe much cooler, yet the heat been there for months. I think football is a sport, everyone wants to win, for fans especially. To lose or drew will upset fans. Why Muslim reacted badly towards this matter. My school doesn't teach me to fast, so if I'm Jose, I'll subs him for sure rather than getting bottles of beers, coins to my bus/car! Yet safety comes first! Can Muslim responsible for not pulling him and get hurt?? Please do not comment if not necessary.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  45. Rao

    I think if a player is not fit for play he should be dropped. The player himself has to understand that and should not make a fuss about it and so should his supporters. C'mon a sport is all about being to perform well physically that being the core of the concept. A player should be able to step down voluntarily for a temporary period until he is fit and give place to someone else in the meantime. No big issue in that. I think those who think in different lines than this are foolish and immature.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  46. colo

    101% RIGHT. Mourinho did the right thing to tell the player that his lack of fitness is caused by fasting and he should something to get back to his wanted fitness. WHO THE HELL WANT TO GET SUBPERFORMING EMPLOYEE FOR SOLID ONE MONTH COS OF HIS RELIGION. Let him enjoy his religion and let the manager-in this case Mourinho, get someone who is more productive than Muntari.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  47. Claes

    As long as your religious practices does not infringe on others' comfort, of course people should be free to practice them. In this case, is he really ok with sinking the whole team effort by playing in that condition? If he is, then maybe they should fire him, not for being a moslem but for being an egoistic idiot better suited for something more individual. It's not someone's fault they got a cold either, yet it's not seen as a gross violation of human rights if the coach benches someone for having a cold. What sort of stingy person would not accept that? Why don't we pass a law against low blood sugar? Isn't it a racist thing of the past that you get low blood sugar from not eating? It's 2009, I thought we were past that! Haha...

    August 26, 2009 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  48. Hari

    It is something common to leave out some one who cant give their 100%. It is given undue importance because of the religion tag. It could have been better to have dealt as internal matter by talking to the player than to have made it public.

    .....Who knows the player might have even agreed to forego fasting.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:25 pm | Reply
  49. Mohamed

    1) the player has to do what he thinks is right. whether to fast or not to fast, and not to listen to anyone.

    2) if he is playing worse then he should be subbed.

    3) the comment he made is extreemely offensive, and it implies that he should not fast.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:26 pm | Reply
  50. Dean

    Muntari fasts=Muntari is not fit= Muntari cannot and does not play.
    Those who didn't like Murinho's necessary-to-win decision should turn to more productive activities, e.g. stop critcising and attaking all non muslims or muslims for ludicurous or no reason and learn to accept others' views. Besides, when fasting is to influence any daily activity, the prophet Mohammed allowed the muslim not to fast, e.g. traveling. If soccer was as popular then, soccer players would've been exempted from fasting.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:26 pm | Reply
  51. august

    As per the contract, Muntari shouldn't be paid until he gets his fitness back. He is fasting, thus lowering his performance. For the team, whether you lost your fitness because of fasting or partying overnight is the same. In both cases the employees underperform for a reason they can avoid. Thus the employer has to cut the wage. If you don't give your best, you don't get the best. Jose has to dock Muntari and let him enjoy his faith.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  52. Paul

    Morinho is Protecting; Muntari, The Team, and His Own Interest. I mean no disrespect the Espanyol player that died was reported to be healthy before the untimely incident, and i honestly think people should look at morinho's words from that perspective

    August 26, 2009 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  53. mazen

    Its amazing how many ignorant and scared people exist in this world.

    The comments of the coach were ignorant at best. He has a football coach, not an educated, sophisticated individual. I wouldn't expect more! If the play is weaker than the players, it can be worked out so he plays less. To say that Ramadan is coming at a bad time is ridiculous. This guy fears Islam like many do that don't understand it. The play should be respected for his beleifs, no matter what they are.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  54. Micol

    Why is this even news? If this were a self-imposed fast rather than a religion-imposed fast, would anyone even question the coach? He hasn't been kicked off the team or been made to go without pay during the month of ramadan. He's just sitting it out on the bench. The coach would (and should) face much harsher criticism if he were to let the fasting player play until he faints on the grass.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  55. Ricardo

    I see the muslim side but i do agree that ramadan in the beginning of the season might be a something prejudical to the player FITNESS.In the beginning of the season, the players arent at the best physical shape and will only get better if they play and train a lot.The lack of eating during the day will hurt the player's recovery.That's why Muntari was only able to play 30 minutes. But i do understand that is something Muntari HAS TO DO. Football is just a game but Islam is extremely important to him.
    PS: Dont compare football(soccer) to basketball. Hakeem Olaujuwon didnt play during the day if im not wrong and he had the possibility to rest while in football, when you're substituted, you cant retorn to the game

    August 26, 2009 at 3:39 pm | Reply

    Nothing wrong of course. Let's do not relate it to religion, its a simple play for a coach to win the game. if a guy can't contribute well this time, make the proper substitute and that's it!!
    Why other muslim always treat it as insult, unfair and so on... why make it big.. its not, its for the good of the player, game and the team...

    August 26, 2009 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  57. Tony K

    I think the decision was made for the sake of the player's health first and for the team, second. However, the coach may have referred to Ramadhan in a disrespectful way. The team needs to discuss the situation with the player and find an amicable solution. Teams should learn to solve problems out of the media.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  58. Francesco

    "Muntari had some problems related to Ramadan, perhaps with this heat it’s not good for him to be doing this (fasting)" Please believe me when i say that this not at all what he had said in the Sky interview. His statement was along the lines and that Muntari was taken off due to his fasting and that it was dangerous playing in 40ºC while not having eaten ALL day( Match played at 20:15 Italy time. Also he said nothing about it not being "Good" for the player. Another reason was due to tactical reasons which he changed 3 times during the match.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  59. Darren - Cambridge

    Very simple – if he's playing as well as the rest of the team, then he should play. If his fasting makes him worse than someone else who could take his place, he should not play.

    This has nothing to do with Ramadan, it has to do with football. Bottom line is that Jose is the coach and he has to do what is best for the team. If playing him is best, so be it, if not playing him is best for the team, then don't.

    Where he made his mistake is talking about it. Sounds like frustration at himself. He should not have played him at all by the sounds of his performance, but he did, and instead of assuming responsibility for his error in judgment, he is blaming Ramadan.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  60. flobby

    mourinho to me is never a sound manager,to manage muntari in his temporary situation has made him blabbing about ramadan,in north africa countries,teams like zamalek,esperance, al haly among others are dominated by muslim professional players and they always observe ramadan n play good games,infact these north africans are always more threatening when u play against them, no one make news out of it,but mourinho can never change,he can even drop a newly wedded player claiming he will loose all his strength cos is newly married,when it comes to management of players individually mourinho is a failure.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:57 pm | Reply
  61. Chantell

    I think the problem is that Mourinho's terminology does not exactly come across in the right way. Had it been some other coach who has English as his first language then I'm sure it would have been worded a bit more "respectfully". Mourinho made a good call, a professional one, and I think letting him play whilst he was fasting was indeed lenient on his part – he could have left him out of the squad altogether and not owed anyone explanation for his action.
    Political correctness has gone mad, I just hope he is not forced into issuing an apology, that would be a shame.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  62. barabbas

    Where is the problem ?

    They can still eat at night right ?

    People eat in the daytime and play sports at night all the time.

    Is there something I'm missing here ?

    August 26, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  63. Bernwaah

    Muntari was hired by Inter Milan to play football at the best of his abilities. His religion in this case is interfering with his ability to do so. So the coach is perfectly in the right to drop him when he has other players in better shape at the moment.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:09 pm | Reply


    August 26, 2009 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  65. Chris Maes

    Always the same problem with muslim leaders: they feel discriminated against and want their faiths to be treated differently from the others.
    As if islam were The Universal Faith, they are looking down upon the others' faith – god forbid non believers as myself – and want to impose their narrow views on every aspect of society; be it moral, cultural, political, and even sports performance.
    It's about time Islam experiences its own Renaissance and starts seperating religion from society.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  66. Edda

    Mr. Mourinho ist not just one of my favourite coaches, but he did the right thing. As far as I know the koran permits exceptions from fasting and the player could have taken this option. The player shouldnt forget that at the end of the month he receives a very nice salary and should decide what is more important : not to fast and perform and fullfill his obligation in his contract.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  67. Miranda

    Why is this an issue? Mourinho is in within his right as Coach to drop a player who he deems not fit to play the sport. To play football you have to have lots of energy to run 90 mins in the summer heat and without water this is so unhealthy.

    Why does a muslim always think someone is attacking or against their religion?

    August 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  68. Brave

    This is Muslims going wild, why is this big news. A player is tired and he is not performing to his capacity, as a manager what do you do, bench him, good for the team and for the player.
    Muslims are crying loud and confessing that they are above law and common ground. I hate to read of the media hyping this up and covering the nonsense of the little children crying for attention..MULIMS

    August 26, 2009 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  69. Papo

    This isn't a religious issue, it's a health issue. It's an intense game and teams can't afford to have players fainting on the field – especially since they could be held accountable for allowing it! Benching him for now would be the right choice.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  70. Eileen

    Ramadan is not that long. Though this could unfortunately open the door to players not playing on the Sabbath, I do feel in my moral core that it would be wrong to drop a player for fasting.
    Again, that's my moral core. But Sports is about big cash. Players are paid to do a job and that job means working when you're told to. The coach should simply find a way to keep this person onboard such as sick leave, but people true to their faith should keep this in mind when they take on any job. You were paid to perform a duty. There is Vacation pay and there is Sick pay – pick one.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  71. Tom Weller

    It's important to point out that during Ramadan, not only is food not permitted during daylight hours, but neither is water...so an very active person is at risk for serious dehydration.

    I have been acquainted with several Muslims, and I salute their dedication during Ramadan, (our Christian practice of Lent is something of a parallel, but we have certainly lost discipline in that).

    By all means, recognize this person's faith-based practice can affecting his athletic performance and stamina significantly, so sub him but don't think negatively about it, his mono-theistic devotion is at a higher level than most of Christendom.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  72. Tom Weller

    It's important to point out that during Ramadan, not only is food not permitted during daylight hours, but neither is water...so an very active person is at risk for serious dehydration.

    I have been acquainted with several Muslims, and I salute their dedication during Ramadan, (our Christian practice of Lent is something of a parallel, but we have certainly lost discipline in that).

    By all means, recognize this person's faith-based practice can affect his athletic performance and stamina significantly, so sub him but don't think negatively about it, his mono-theistic devotion is at a higher level than most of Christendom.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  73. nicole

    i think that it would be stupid to kick him off the team just because he is praying. he probably knows that it is going to affect his playing, but why should he be kicked off a team for being obedient to our GOD?

    August 26, 2009 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  74. Roger Rabbit

    Not only is the coach right, but the player should be forced to reimburse the club owners part of his huge salary he is paid, since he placed himself in the position of not being useful to his team. At the same time, why does a team hire a player which they know beforehand will be incapacitated part of the season?

    August 26, 2009 at 5:07 pm | Reply
  75. timmer

    Since when is playing a futbol match a religious right or rite:) ? The coach decides who plays. Period. At that level of play it would seem to make sense that fasting and athletics are not compatible for the health and well being of the player.

    August 26, 2009 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  76. Paul

    If he can't perform he should step aside.

    Fasting is just another example of lunatic behavior on the part of "believers". It doesn't bother me a bit to see it sanctioned. I'm tired of seeing athletes cross themselves or thank the Lord for their victories.

    In fact, I hope I live to see the day when membership in organized religions declines to the point that those people become a minority on our planet.

    The emperor has no clothes.

    August 26, 2009 at 5:18 pm | Reply
  77. Eddie

    Well, I think Mourinho is acting in the best interest of the player. We have seen players died on the pitch while playing and we do not want to experience this. For the seek of the health of the player, it is a wise decision afterall, if anything has happened to Murtari during the match, he Mourinho will be blamed for feilding a player that he obviously knows was fasting.

    My problem with Mourinho is that he loves the headlines and he is too sensational. He should probably take a lesson or two in diplomacy.

    August 26, 2009 at 5:19 pm | Reply
  78. niko

    If I were in the coach's shoes, I would do the same.
    If there is a very high risk that Muntari will become weak, then I need to sub him. This is the best for him and for the team. This is logical reasoning. In fact, I will do the same should this happen to another star player.

    I don't care if his becoming weak is due to illness, fasting, injury, etc. Once Muntari becomes fit to play again, for sure I will enlist him.

    August 26, 2009 at 5:19 pm | Reply
  79. Henry

    Its bad to mix religoin with business. If the player knows that fasting will not allow him to perform his duty well and still went ahead to fast, the coach should not be blamed for taking action. There is time for everything and one thing should not hinder another.............

    August 26, 2009 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  80. Al

    Why all this fuss?

    Mourinho is 100% correct.

    Why should the media give such importance to this non-issue; is it perhaps, because it concerns Islam?

    Keep religion out of sports please and let's reason with a 21st. century mind!

    Bravo Jose!

    August 26, 2009 at 5:31 pm | Reply
  81. brone

    This player was hired to do a job, if he has religious commitments that prevent him from performing up to his full potential and the coach recognizes that the player is not performing up to par, then yes he has every right to sub another player for him. Lets put this into perspective, this guy is paid to play a game, so he has to sit out a few during Ramadan, big deal. This isn't even worth debating. The coach is acting in the best interest of the team – that is, he is performing his job as a coach, which is to field the best team (and players) available to him

    August 26, 2009 at 5:44 pm | Reply
  82. Ossa Uchendu

    Let's not blow this out of proportion. Any coach world over would be particularly concerned about their professional muslim players during the Ramadan fasting period as the physical nature of the Serie A games under intense heat could be hazardous to the health of any muslim player.

    Mourinho should only be questioned after the Ramadan period when the player no longer features in first team football.

    August 26, 2009 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  83. chris

    Hey, they're both following what they believe is the right path.
    Jose Mourinho is obliged to pick the most capable players at the time, if a player is unfit then they should be subtituted, regardless of reason.
    Sulley Muntari has a religious duty he wishes to fulfill, that's his choice and i respect him fully for that.
    As an act of conscience and duty, he and all people of faith should accept such undertakings knowing the risk of the knock on affect will have on them without whining about it.
    In essence we now live in a secular world, we cannot allow political correctness to creep in any more than it has.... Imagine a future Olympics games; the teams are cheered in, and then cheered out, no competing actually happens so as not to offend any sensibilities that may be hurt by being bettered by another competitor.
    My view is to commend someone of faith who tries to follow its religious dogma, but don't let that interfere with or diminish the true nature of sport... being at your best and peak fitness and spirit. period.

    August 26, 2009 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  84. Jide Yusuf

    The coach (Mourinho) did the right thing by substituting a tired player. It may be debatable if he needed to explain why he did so. But he did the wrong thing by blaming Ramadan. The truth is, even a player that does not fast could get tired. And sometime, a fasing player could keep strong throughout the duration of a match.
    Besides, Islam is not inflexible as some would want to belief. Fasting is not compulsory in all circumstances. Somebody on a journey or whoever is ill, is exempted from fasting. If a traveller can be exempted a footballer should seriously find out and know know what to do. Afterall, he can make up for it later.
    Facts should be treated as sacred. The coach has a right to know as much or find out or keep quiet. Ramadan should not be blamed.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  85. Evan

    Mourinho is paid to win. If he feels that a player may not be able to perform adequately, he may feel required to drop that player. If a Jewish player could not come to Saturday games or practices because of the sabbath, he too would be dropped. And I would imagine that player turnout in (mostly Christian) Europe would be pretty low if a game were played on Christmas or Easter.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  86. Alfred

    It's not about religion at all, it's about his ability to perform.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  87. Steve

    MUSLIMS ARE PIGS: Your comments are vile and disgusting, and insulting to people of ALL religions! Yes there may be Muslims that feel the same as you, but against Christians and Jews. You will find that most Muslims are disgusted and insulted by THEM, too!

    August 26, 2009 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  88. Richard

    When you fast, your energy levels will drop. I think it's only fair for the team that Sulley Muntari sit out the game and not push himself into the game. He knows he is fasting and with all fairness will not be able to play with his normal strength as before. Sit it out!!!!!!! But the coach shouldn't drop him from the team. Sulley Muntari has to know when he has a game and he wants to play, he has to eat in order to maximise his energy.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  89. junus Reims

    Allah comes before Sport

    August 26, 2009 at 6:38 pm | Reply
  90. Eddie Klinston

    I salute Sulley Muntari for doing what he's doing. He's doing the right thing. God's on his side.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  91. Khalid Sajjad

    I played soccer in High School even in Ramadan when we had sectional games... and yes I played the entire game while I was fasting... It will take Muntari time but he will adjust to perform even better during Ramadan... InshaAllah (God Willing)

    August 26, 2009 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  92. Dr Gopinath

    It is very logical for a team manager to expect the best performance from every member of his team and he was right to ground the fasting player. It is foolish to claim that religious zeal would give you the energy to play well. I work in Saudi Arabia as a physician and I have first hand experience of the toll that fasting has on physical and mental performance. I even avoid flying in Ramadan because some Arab pilots insist on fasting even though they have a religious dispensation to break the fast while travelling.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:50 pm | Reply
  93. victor leyer

    What if God tells a hooters waitress that she should gain 100 pounds? Should hooters fire her? of course

    August 26, 2009 at 6:53 pm | Reply
  94. Francis Adie Ushie

    coach Jose Mourinho of Inter-Milan Football club in Italy, is one of
    a few individuals in the world i respect for boldness and truth.
    How on Earth would a player risk his life to play an energy –
    sapping as football when fasting? all those who permit their
    wards to do that are only abetting suicide attempt.
    I'll suggest sporting activities should be suspended in all Ramadan
    fasting areas across the globe, to avoid sudden falls, breaking of
    legs, other injuries, etc. (with a special sporting calendar for fasting
    sportsmen and women, sporting excellence'll thrive in the affected
    areas..., again. Egypt, has a good record of sporting excellence,
    we may ask them to reveal the 'SECRET')

    August 26, 2009 at 6:56 pm | Reply
  95. Respect du Jeu

    High Energy Sport and Fasting are simply not compatible.
    Neither are High Salaries and Low Performance.
    Players must choose, they cannot have it both ways.
    Coaches are responsible to owners, fans and the team.
    They are paid to make the tough and right decisions.
    And that is exactly what Mourinho has done.
    Bravo for having the courage to do so.
    And I doubt the player ever mentioned his desire
    to fast when negotiating his very high salary and
    signing a lucrative contract.

    PS: The article published at 16:13 GMT
    above is offensive to any sensible reader and should be

    August 26, 2009 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  96. Ashes

    As a Muslim, Sulley Muntari is fasting in the holy month of Ramzan. His sport demands high levels of physical fitness, and in these circumstances Muntari faces risks to his health.

    This issue should not be blown out of proportions and given a 'religious' angle.

    August 26, 2009 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  97. soccerfest

    As a muslim I wouldn't play in fasting time, and I aprouve the opinion of Jose Murinho, when your are fasting you don't do your 100%

    August 26, 2009 at 8:05 pm | Reply

    Personally from an astute point of view, the coach is right to drop him out of the team for the next match. It is very wrong to mixed religion and business together. The football game is a competitive business with other teams and every team want to be at the top that is why so much money is paid to this palyers.Faith is a personal thing and shouldn't interfere with someone's business. Imagine that you are the point man in a company and you have signed a contract with the company to deliver, will you run the company to failure because you are fasting and couldn't turn up for your responsibilities. Muntari is paid to do is job and he never in his contract mention that he will be one month off due to his faith. Should the management refused to pay him for one month due to his fasting will he not raise eyebrow and critize the management. We should act rationally and make good judgement. He is opportuned to play in a big club, so many good footballers are looking for this same opportunity.Respect your contract and management. the club is not owned by a muslim or christain or other faith but purely a business entity that is out to make profit and every player is a key to that.

    August 26, 2009 at 8:08 pm | Reply
  99. Abid Naqvi


    I am a practicing Muslim.

    The action by Jose in the above case is not uncalled for. During a Muslim fast we not only refrain from eating but also from drinking (even water) from dusk till dawn. Excessive physical activity is also not preferred during a fast. Furthermore, in all the Middle Eastern Muslim nations working hours, especially of manual labor, are officially reduced drastically during Ramadan (the month of fasting).

    Therefore, if Jose has removed a player due to fast, citing the reason that the player is not able to perform upto his full potential, then as a Manager I think he has every right to take the decision.

    Furthermore, it would be ill-advised to blow the scenario out of proportion, since even Muslim coaches and managers take similar decisions in similar cases. But it seems that due to their being a Muslim, they are not criticized.

    August 26, 2009 at 8:13 pm | Reply
  100. fadel tounsi

    im a british muslim from north african origin.i love islam even if i dont practice it.
    i dont think mourinho was prejudiced. it makes sense if a person is sick or unable to perform to be put aside till the circomstances changes.let s not read too much into this decision

    August 26, 2009 at 8:25 pm | Reply
  101. Kev

    This is not a debate on religion, Mourinho was 100% correct to take Muntari off. I noticed he was not well the minute he started the game, he did not have the energy to fight for the ball as he usually does, and Muntari is a aggressive player usually.
    What if he passed out and something happened to him, the blame would be on Mourinho on why he let him play in the first place.
    So the right thing would be Muntari respects his religion and takes a break.
    Mourinho is not a animal he respects his players and Muntari knows he did the right thing.

    August 26, 2009 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  102. Maurizio

    We are still lucky to live in a secular society and as such there's no need to consider the fictitious needs of a disputable revelation who is by the way not indigenous to Wester Europe.

    Italian rules and job contracts apply first.

    Whoever needs to fast will do so at his own detriment, without trying bend the rules of western society.

    August 26, 2009 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  103. Ahmed Rufai

    Actually a can drop a muslim player from playing when he is fasting
    but for me its better not even allow him to play before changing him,but must talk to the playing in privite not in public.

    August 26, 2009 at 8:33 pm | Reply
  104. Mike

    I don't understand what the big deal is...A play that is weak and no help to the team should be subbed.

    I can't stand when religious organizations go crazy and take everything personal.

    August 26, 2009 at 8:33 pm | Reply
  105. Mampong Ashanti

    The best thing the coach should have done is not to allow Muntari to even play but should sit him down and explain to him the reason.That will be better than letting him played and later told the public this story which seems to anger some muslims in Italy

    August 26, 2009 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  106. Gunnerdevil

    Personally, i think people are making this out to be more then it is. Muntari was observing a part of his life,which he has every right to do, as a result he was weak. The coach felt he wasnt playing his best so he got him out of there as he has a right to do. Lets respect the fact that they believed in their convictions and more over lets just give them to space to deal or figure it out as a player and a manager. after all only they know whats best for team. I dont think this is a religous issue at all and should be kept in perspective.

    August 26, 2009 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  107. brian willoughby

    easy answere, just stop their wages. this will sort out the men from the boys when it comes to choosing between this halla guy and a wad of money.

    August 26, 2009 at 8:44 pm | Reply
  108. tony more


    August 26, 2009 at 8:51 pm | Reply
  109. Kelly Aisha Cureton

    It is wrong to drop a player because he/she chooses to observe his/her religious belief. Most Muslims conduct a normal lifestyle and can still still work and play various sports while fasting. The only difference is that he/she can not eat/drink from dawn til dusk and the eating time is altered from morning/afternoon to early evening hours, night and until sun rise. The Fasting Muslim is also encouraged to eat a meal before the fasting time begins.

    Fasting, actually, has valuable health benefits and it enhances self discipline, spirtualilty and inner strength. Islam is not an extreme faith and no Muslim has been know to die because of fasting. Those who are exempt from fasting includes, children, pregnant/nursing women, the elderly, the traveler, and the sick.

    In fact, Hakeem Olajuwan, one of the best NBA players, brought the Houston Rockets to one of their Champioships while he was fasting.

    August 26, 2009 at 8:53 pm | Reply


    August 26, 2009 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  111. Josh

    not only should this guy be pulled out of the game, but he should also receive some kind of monetary penalty. he gets payed to play soccer and a high level. if he can no longer play soccer at a high level than he shouldn't be there. it sounds like a failure to fulfill a contract to me.

    August 26, 2009 at 9:10 pm | Reply
  112. Feras

    This Question is wrong to be asked.
    If the player is tired, then he/she can be replaced "not dropped" temporarily.

    But the question would be is it right to drop a player JUST because he fasting or practicing his belife?

    August 26, 2009 at 9:14 pm | Reply
  113. Hamid Nowab

    First of all the issue shoudn't be highlighted as a religious clash.The coach has his responsibilities as well as the player.The both must show the good results.While fasting , the player can't play with the strength he needs to.So he must have holidays during Ramadan.
    Being a Muslim , I don't see any reason to blame the coach.

    August 27, 2009 at 6:22 am | Reply
  114. Ebrima jallow

    Mourinho has no right to drop his fasting,am just 19 and playing for nossegem in belgium i go for paristics and play in games with fasting.

    August 27, 2009 at 10:12 am | Reply
  115. Krish

    Performance aside, wouldn't you be endangering the player by asking him to play while fasting. He could suffer dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

    August 27, 2009 at 11:01 am | Reply
  116. gavin

    i played for sunderland until i was 19 (30 now) and the most important thing for any athlete is food, before and after the game, it cannot be under estimated. it's like trying to drive a car with no petrol in. (fuel) everything that moves needs it. simple. i'd be surprised from now on if it wasn't in contracts to eat with the team before and after games. what would someone expect if he turned up drunk. fail to prepare and prepare to fail.

    August 27, 2009 at 11:27 am | Reply
  117. Otto

    If muntari was tired due to fasting, then the coach has every right to sub him, not because he's a muslem but because of his health and his performance in the field of play after all there are other muslems involve in different diciplines. Muntari should know very well how he feels if he plays and fast. People are different. Every coach wants the best for his team so also every player is expected of his best. Muntari is a good player no doubt. If he cannot handle both(fasting & playing), then he should concentrate on that which is most important. Possibly let the coach know so as to enable the coach know.

    August 27, 2009 at 5:21 pm | Reply
  118. Mohsen Afouna

    Coatch Mourinhu has every right and power to drop or not to drop any of his team's players. But, he has no right what so ever to say what he has said about the holy month of Ramadan. His folish comment is disrespectful ridiculous and discriminatory. In addition, he has reached to his conclsions about the player performance on baseless assumption. Faithful players have always endless sources of energy that do not subject to the "materialistic rules" of coach Mourinhu.

    August 27, 2009 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  119. sameera

    Any one should do his work perfectly ,and this is one of the most important thing ISLAM has recommended , prophet Mohammed (pbuh) says "God loves if any one want to do any work ,to do it perfectly" In my opinion if Muntari's energy levels is drop due to fasting and cause troubles to the team then he shouldn’t play when he is fast ,BUT ,If being fast do not affect his energy he should defend himself .ALSO Ramadan is not that long period and playing a match would not be more difficult than building a house under the burnt sun ; in my community almost all people do their duties perfectly in Ramadan even builders ,feeling tired might happen the first day but when a person used to fast he will not be tired and things will go in a natural way .In addition GOD who imposed fasting is great and needs benefits to people and any one could read this article Ramadan and scientific research by Dr. Turin Chowdhury and make sure that fasting is not a big problem which causes dehydration and bad effects on human beings as a lot of non –Muslim people believe. furthermore the couch should be curious of his team’s perform, but that does not give him the right to blame Ramadan.

    August 27, 2009 at 9:36 pm | Reply
  120. EM

    Mourinho completely made the right decision by pulling Muntari off. Although it becomes a tough situation when religious affiliation becomes involved, the best players need to be on the field, regardless of the reason. It is understandable that both Mourinho and Muntari are frustrated by the situation, but neither has the right to place the blame. Mourinho should not blame the religion of which his player belongs to (for it is a personal choice which he has no right to judge), and Muntari should not blame his coach for merely doing what is best for the team. This is one of Italy's top football clubs, not AYSO soccer, and if a player is unable to maintain that caliber of play, whether it be for reasons out of their control or not, they do not deserve to be on the pitch.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:28 am | Reply
  121. ola pharuc,

    I DIS AGREE WITH MORIHO, READ AND LEARN FROM ME ....................In a normall stacomstancess without a good physiacal fitness you can not perform any responsibility in any aspect of work not only football, but notwistading Ramadan its an essentiall responsibility for whom that called a muslim, because it's not a creativities and it's not what european president make a law on or is not a rule of conduct of world president,it's a rule from allmight ALLAH that createD you and i or moriho him self, no one has a power to vindicate the secret of god, a white man has ever know the colour of air or can a white man create thier own reasources apart from the natural resourcess of god, which thay use to produce something,if moriho dont want to see the iritation of god or the resentment of god he should leave any one of them fasting, their is no Ramadan when he came to inter millan can moriho tell why he didn't recieved champions league last season is it because of Ramadan........................i am galaticos fans , eigther negative still madrid.............from FARUK B.OLA. the activist of nigeria ...........................YOU CAN MAIL ME IF YOU FELL MY MESSAGE ON THIS oyinqus@yahoo.com, or ajobiola@yahoo.com

    August 29, 2009 at 7:00 am | Reply
  122. Tarek

    To ola pharuc, i think ur taking it a little bit too far, by stating that inter milan didnt win the CL because of ramadan. I am a muslim myself, and honestly, they way ur explaining things is a little far fetched. Am not religious or anything, but i do know something about religion, and to relate ramadan to inter milans failure in CL is wrong.
    Mourinho had every right to bench him mountari, he wants what is best for the team, and if mountari cant perform then he should be benched. but it doesnt mean that he wont feature at all, mourinho can use him as a second half sub in matches. Its not like mountaris career is over because of this.

    In the end mourinho is the manager, and he has the final say, to say that he is disrespecting islam and ramadan is wrong, he is free to make whatever choice he wants. What i found wrong about this statement was the way he said "this fasting" or "this ramandan" not sure what it was, i just found the way he said was abit disrespectful, but overal i support his decision of benching mountari, i think any coach would have done the same thing, whether it was in football or some other sport. too much commotin has been made about this topic, it honestly doesnt need that much fuss.

    August 29, 2009 at 12:54 pm | Reply

    My answer comes after Nigeria whips Tunisia silly on Sunday 6th September at the Abuja National Stadium for the World cup 2010 qualifiers.Please Tunisia players dont stop your fast please

    September 3, 2009 at 8:44 pm | Reply
  124. abubakar wachin

    Considering that fasting is one of the five pillars of islam,it is a grievous sin for any praticing muslim who abandons the fast for a football match. Muntari was right for dutifully observing his religious obligation even while he had a match to play.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:30 pm | Reply
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