Referees in the Premier League and EFL have reportedly been asked to pause evening games during Ramadan to allow players to break their fast.
A number of Muslim players will be abstaining from eating and drinking during daylight hours and match officials in England’s top four divisions have been asked to halt night matches so these players can take on liquids, energy gels and supplements.
They have been encouraged to wait for a natural stoppage in play, such as a goal kick or a throw-in, before pausing the game.
Teams have also been told to agree a rough time with the referee ahead of kick-off for the brief stoppage to take place.
Matches in the Premier League have been paused in the past for players to break their fast, with Burnley’s league game against Southampton last season halted in the 41st minute to allow Mohamed Elyounoussi and Yan Valery to refuel.
In April 2021, Wesley Fofana was also allowed to break his fast when Leicester played Crystal Palace.
Guaita waited to take a goal-kick in the first half of the evening game against the Foxes to give Fofana, who is now at Chelsea, the chance to take in liquids before he returned to the action.
The Premier League’s stance has previously been to allow games to be stopped if a team puts in a request beforehand, but this time they have sent a clear message to referees ahead of Ramadan getting underway.
The first match where this could apply is likely to be the clash between Leeds and Liverpool at Elland Road on Monday, April 17. Sunset in the Yorkshire city is scheduled for 8:10pm, 10 minutes after kick-off, with Salah among the players who could feature in the match.
A break in play may also occur in Arsenal’s home match with Southampton four days later. The game on Friday, April 21 – the last day of Ramadan – kicks off at 8pm and the sun is due to set in London at 8:06pm.
The holy month of Ramadan, is set to start on Wednesday and will end on the evening of Friday April 21.