With the Champions League quarterfinals approaching in the holy month of Ramadan, this change of direction is the first of its kind.
A few days prior to the Islamic holy month of Ramadan starting, refereeing bodies have told Premier League and English Football League match officials to halt play so that practicing players can break their fast during games, according to a report by Sky Sports News.
Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante and teammate Hakim Ziyech are among the Muslim players assumed to be partaking in Ramadan.
Match officials are expected to pinpoint fasting players before kickoff and agree on an estimated time for the break, given the prayer times.
The British channel reports that players can break their fast by consuming liquids, energy gels or supplements.
Two years ago, Leicester City’s match with Crystal Palace was paused mid-game to allow Wesley Fofana and Cheikhou Kouyate to break their fast for the first time in the league’s history.
In alignment with the change on the pitch, Chelsea Foundation will also host an Open Iftar at the side of the pitch at Stamford Bridge, in what will be a first for the club and Premier League stadium.
Simon Taylor, head of the Chelsea Foundation, expressed his pridefulness in being the first club to create such an event.
“I’m delighted to announce our Open Iftar alongside the Ramadan Tent Project, and we are extremely proud to be the first Premier League club to be doing so. Recognising Ramadan and our Muslim community is a crucial aspect of our work in promoting religious tolerance,” Taylor said in a statement.
In collaboration with the Ramadan Tent Project which is marking its 10th anniversary this year, the club seeks to drive inclusion across all faiths, expressly those who practice fasting during Ramadan.