Ramadan started on May 5 and continues until June 4, after the Champions League final, but what does it mean for Liverpool forwardsMohamedSalah and Sadio Mane?
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan started on Sunday and lasts until June 4 – which will give two important Liverpool players a major decision to make.
Top scorers of Liverpool Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are both devout Muslims.
Top scorers of Liverpool Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are both devout Muslims
They have celebrated their each 50 goals by performing sujood, the Islamic act of prostration.
And Muslims observe Ramadan by fasting from dawn until dusk. No food or no liquid is consumed from dawn (Suhur) to dusk (Iftar) in order to clean the soul and mind.
It is a exercise which was branded “totally irresponsible” by Dutch physio Raymond Verheijen this week, after the Dutch club had three players, Noussair Mazraoui, Hakim Ziyech and Zakaria Labyad all due to fast on the day of Ajax’s Champions League semi-final 2nd leg against Tottenham.
In an interview with De Telegraaf ahead of the 2nd leg he said: “It would be totally irresponsible to comply with Ramadan at this time of the season.
“Imagine that the game ends 0-1 and, after 90 minutes, they have to play an extension, I hope that the players themselves think that will be impossible.”
Morocco international Mazraoui, though, who played the full 90 minutes of Ajax’s dramatic 3-2 defeat on Wednesday, believed it wasn’t a matter.
“I am used to doing it. Can a high-level athlete stop eating if he has to make a struggle? There are different opinions, but this is my choice, I feel pretty energetic during Ramadan,” Mazraoui said in an interview with the Het Parool newspaper.
“The game is at 9pm (CET), so at 9.15 pm I would have the chance to drink something, if I play, I can go quickly to the band to take a sip,”
Ajax players were seen consuming energy gels and drinks during a break in play at the Amsterdam Arena.
The same issue was raised with Liverpool’s in Champions League final against Real Madrid last season, which also took place during Ramadan.
Manager Jurgen Klopp maintained that it was a private matter for Salah and Mane.
“Religion is private, how I understand it,” he said in his pre-match press conference. “Nothing to say about that but all fine, you will see him out there. In training he is full of power – you need to be the day before a final.”
It is believed that Salah did not fast, but was still able to follow the teachings of his religion.
Under Islamic teachings, it is allowable to break your fast “with anything that is adequate need” or if you are travelling during the day – which Salah did as Liverpool headed to Kiev.
It had previously been reported in Egypt that Salah would endorse his fasting during the final.
But Liverpool’s physio Ruben Pons explained: “We were in Marbella and the nutritionist established a work plan.
“Tomorrow and the day of the match he won’t fast, so it’s not going to affect him.”
It is expected that Salah would follow the same practice as he did last season.