Ramadan is the most significant event in the Muslim calendar and this year it will happen between 5th May and the 5th June in 2019. This will be significant to football as it will fall partly within the season.
During the month of Ramadan, a large proportion of England’s 2.5 million Muslims will fast (abstain from food and water) during daylight hours. This may significantly impact their involvement in football, with many not participating at all.
Under FA Rule B5, nobody can be compelled to play football on a day of religious observance, therefore any fixtures currently planned between 5th May and 5th June have a risk of postponement if practising Muslims are in either team.
The FA believes that football is For All and should be open and welcoming to everyone from every background. Therefore, they are looking to raise awareness of Ramadan within the football family to avoid any last-minute fixture changes or confusion around FA Rules. Here are some pointers:
Leagues: Identify whether you have any predominantly Muslim teams within your league or clubs with several playing Muslims and make sure they are aware of the dates of Ramadan this year. Ask them if this will impact on them honouring their current fixtures. Send on The FA’s Ramadan and Football Factsheet to your clubs for their information.
Club Managers, Secretaries or Coaches: Speak to your players and identify if any of them are practising Muslims and are planning to miss fixtures during Ramadan. If yes, and you feel you need to postpone any games, speak to your league immediately. You can also share our Ramadan Factsheet with your players.
Players: If you are Muslim, will be fasting during Ramadan this year and will be missing fixtures, tell your team manager or club secretary straight away. If you are thinking of fasting and continuing to play, make sure you take appropriate medical advice if necessary.
A copy of The FA’s Ramadan and Football Factsheet can be found below. Details are also shared by @EssexCountyFA on Twitter and you can interact with ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.