June 23, 2014 / 5:14 PM / 5 years ago

Soccer-Ramadan observance should not harm players say FIFA

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 23 (Reuters) - Muslim players at the World Cup observing the religious festival of Ramadan should not suffer any deterioration in their physical conditioning, FIFA’s chief medical officer Jiri Dvorak said on Monday.

The month-long observance is expected to start on Sunday, is a period when adherents fast between sunrise and sunset.

Dvorak told reporters at FIFA’s daily media briefing: “We have made extensive studies of players during Ramadan, and the conclusion was that if Ramadan is followed appropriately, there will be no reduction in the physical performances of players.

“We have done extensive studies and nothing worries us.

“The players observing Ramadan always have the provision to ask for an exemption and follow Ramadan at a more appropriate time. This is what I have learnt form the religious leaders in Algeria.”

Michel D’Hooghe, chairman of FIFA’s medical committee told reporters: “It should not be a problem and we had the same thing at the London Olympics two years ago.” (Reporting by Mike Collett, Editing by Nigel Hunt)

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