Article by Imraan Adam @imadam786
It’s been an amazing season so far for Liverpool Football Club and with the Champions League Final set to take place in Kiev on Saturday evening the Reds will be hoping to cap the campaign off by bringing home the biggest trophy in club football. Whilst everyone is looking forward to what is set to be an amazing night on Saturday, three of Liverpool’s shining stars will be hoping that they are able to obtain a spiritual boost ahead of the clash with Real Madrid.
Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and Emre Can, who are all devout Muslims, will be praying that the fact that the final will be taking place in the holy month of Ramadan may offer them an advantage going into the biggest game of their careers. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar where Muslims are instructed to fast without food and water from dawn to dust, and with it being one of the five pillars of Islam, Ramadan is extremely important to all Muslims.
I know a lot of people are thinking surely going all day without food and water would be a disadvantage for the trio but I really do believe the fact the final is in Ramadan could tip the scales in our favor in a game where the margins are going to be so tight.
Firstly, we don’t even know if they will be fasting on the day of the final, under Islamic law there are allowances for Muslims in Ramadan, believers who are traveling or have a very demanding job can abstain from fasting and instead give money to charity.
For example, at the last World Cup in Brazil Mesut Ozil decided not to fast during the tournament but instead donated money to charity. I’ve tried to get in touch with Liverpool Football Club to see if any of the three Muslim players would be fasting the day of the final, as you can imagine the press office has been very busy and even though I got an initial response from my email saying that they would pass my query onto the relevant departments, I haven’t been able to get anything further out of them.
As far as I’m aware nothing has come out of the club to say whether or not Salah, Mané or Can will be fasting, however even if they are fasting sunset takes place in Kiev 45 minutes before kick off so the players will be able to get rehydrated and reenergized before the game.
It’s also worth while remembering that every Muslim connected to Liverpool Football Club would have known the final would be in Ramadan for the last few months, I worked that out after we beat Porto as I was that convinced we were going all the way even back then, so my point is if we as fans knew about this ages ago I can’t see why the Liverpool training staff would have not been made aware of this a few months back.
It is highly likely that all three players have been preparing for this for a while now, and probably would have got themselves in a condition whereby if they are fasting they know they can still play at the peak of their powers despite not eating and drinking all day.
This game is going to be so close as I’ve already mentioned, and as fans you are naturally looking for the tinniest bit of advantage that you can get in a game of this magnitude, and I honestly believe if our players are fasting it could provide such a morale boost for them that we could witness something truly incredible in Kiev.
At the last World Cup we all remember how good the Algerian team did, getting out of the group stages for the first time in the country’s history and only getting knocked out after they took the eventual winners Germany all the way to extra time. Half of that Algerian team were fasting and they said Ramadan gave them such a spiritual boost it actually allowed them to play better.
It was the same last year for the Palestinian football team when they played Oman in an Asian Cup qualifier, the game was moved to after sunset in order to accommodate both sets of players and fans that were fasting. Both teams said that it was a unique experience playing such an important game in Ramadan and they all benefited from this experience.
I really do hope that all three of our players will be fasting on Saturday, especially Mohamed Salah. The man has had such an amazing season with us not just on the pitch but off it as well, he’s been an inspiration for all British Muslims, including myself, whether they have been into football or not, in fact I have even had Man United supporters coming up to me saying that they really hope Liverpool win on Saturday just because of what Salah has done for the Muslim community in Britain, and in a year where he has done more to tackle Islamiphobia than Theresa May and the whole cabinet I think it would be really fitting of him to lead Liverpool to glory on Saturday in this holy month.
I for one will be praying that Liverpool can do the job on Saturday and In’Sh’Allah (god willing) we can bring home a sixth European title.
Article by Imraan Adam @imadam786
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