By Nivert Walid
Preparations are made and the Arab countries are getting ready for The World Cup that will be held in Russia. As this Russian World Cup is the third to coincide with the advent of Ramadan, a lot of questions were raised about whether the Muslim players should fast during the matches and the pre-tournament camps or not.
The Egyptian Fatwa House issued a fatwa allowing national team to break their fast in Ramadan. However, the fatwa did not reach a consensus among the clerics. As we can see Dr. Abdul Hamid Al-Atrash, Former Head of the Fatwa Committee in Al-Azhar, saw that it is not permissible for the players to fast explaining that breakfast licenses do not apply to them.
As for the situation in Saudi Arabia, president of the Saudi Football Federation, announced that the Saudi players will be allowed to break their fast during Ramadan. This fatwa was criticized by activists on social networking sites as they pointed to an earlier fatwa issued by the Former Saudi Sheikh, Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh, in which he considered that the players breaking their fast is considered to be a disaster.
It’s worth mentioning that The 2018 World Cup is marked by the participation of six Muslim countries which are Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the Kingdom of Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal, and Iran as well as Muslim-majority, Nigeria.