the FFF opposes the interruption of matches to break the fast

the FFF opposes the interruption of matches to break the fast

In the middle of Ramadan, the French Football Federation recalled on March 31 the ban on interrupting a football match to allow players to break their fast, via an email addressed to the refereeing bodies. The latter, made public, aroused the indignation of some football players. But the FFF instruction is not new.

► Why does the FFF not want to interrupt a match?

You have to go back to article 1er FFF statutes to understand this issue. The charter of professional conduct and ethics of football, to which the federation refers, stipulates that the latter is delegated a mission of public and sporting service and, as such, falls within the rules of the French Republic. Among them, secularism.

“We must respect complete neutrality between all players since football is an open sport, which welcomes everyone, regardless of orientation, skin color, religion, without any discrimination”recalls Éric Borghini, president of the Federal Arbitration Commission (CFA) and member of the Comex of the FFF.

In the field of sport, it is therefore forbidden to include religion. “It is not, as I have read on social networks, racism or an attack against Muslims”laments Eric Borghini. “It is a reminder of a general principle that applies to everyone. »

Diplomat, the FFF recalls that players “may, throughout the match, approach the touchline to drink and eat something, in agreement with the refereeing corps. “It’s completely legal, as long as we don’t stop the game”, explains Eric Borghini. “You should know that in Ligue 1, there are 64 minutes of effective time, out of 90; it leaves time during which the players do not play. »

Thus, a Muslim footballer has the right to break the fast, along the touchline, in agreement with the referee and his coach, during the progress of the match or during a stoppage of play.

► Why an intervention by the FFF now?

Noting of “many groundwork”everywhere on the territory, since the beginning of Ramadan, the federation has therefore chosen to address the officials to remind them of the rule. “Many reports have been made of matches being interrupted by referees to allow a break in the fast”explains Eric Borghini. “It is the first time that it has been so marked”, adds the manager.

► How does it work abroad?

Among our European neighbors, the rule is not the same. In England or Germany, the arbitration bodies have chosen to adapt. Breaks are thus organized during championship matches to allow Muslim players to break the fast during the month of Ramadan – which began this year on March 22 and ends on April 21.

The coach of OGC Nice, Didier Digard, had also drawn a parallel between the French championship and the English Premier League, in a pre-match press conference on March 31. ” We are in a secular country, not in a Muslim country. These are always delicate subjects. he acknowledged. “We know England. We must admit things, they are more open than us on the subject and it always has been. Now, it would be nice if France did. »

For Éric Borghini, there is a cultural difference between France and its neighbours. “In England or Germany, the principle of their civil life is based on multiculturalism. This is not the doctrine of France, which focuses more on fraternity. »

► What do the Muslim authorities say on the issue?

“The issue has been debated among Muslim scholarly circles, creating two different approaches”explains Omero Marongiu-Perria, doctor in sociology, theologian and researcher specializing in Islam.

The first is that of derogation. “Given the importance of sports competitions, it is possible to catch up on the fast”, underlines the theologian. Verse 184 of sura n° 2 of the Koran provides exceptions for sick people, people traveling, as well as pregnant or breastfeeding women. By extension, players participating in a competition can claim that they are on the move. And like the other exempted people, compensate for this missed period of abstinence by fasting later in the year.

In opposition to this doctrine, the second approach calls for abstaining from sports practice. This stricter reading of the Koranic texts considers that sport “cannot be above religious practice”explains Omero Marongiu-Perria.

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