Arsenal star Mesut Ozil has revealed that he will not be fasting during Ramadan this year due to national team duties for Germany in the European Championships this summer.
Ozil was quoted by the Turkish sports newspaper Fanatik as saying: “The weather will be very hot and the tournament will be intense so I will not be fasting during the European Championships.”
Euro 2016 will be played during the month of Ramadan and observant muslims will be abstaining from drinking liquids and eating during daylight hours but there are some exemptions.
The sick, pregnant, infirm or elderly and those travelling or going to war are excluded and some athletes delay their fast to a more suitable time under this provision.
The consensus is split regarding whether muslim athletes should fast during the tournament or not and there are no clear guidelines.
The German FA did however, consult with Islamic scholars at Al-Azhar University, one of the leading authorities among muslims who ruled that exceptions could be made for professional athletes during Ramadan regarding fasting.
Considering the long daylight hours and summer heat fasting under these conditions while playing intense football matches could harm players health but some players believe it does not pose a health risk.
The Turkish national team has yet to release a statement regarding whether their players will be fasting or not.