Muntari backed over fasting
Posted: 25 August 2009 Time: 19:23
A Muslim leader in Italy has jumped to the defence of Ghana midfielder Sulley Muntari after Jose Mourinho suggested the player’s fasting had weakened him for Inter Milan’s Serie A opener against Bari.
The Portuguese pulled off Muntari after only 30 minutes and suggested afterwards it had everything to do with the Ghanaian’s decision to fast on the match-day. “Muntari had some problems related to Ramadan – perhaps with this heat it’s not good for him to be doing this [fasting],” Mourinho said. “Ramadan has not arrived at the ideal moment for a player to play a football match.” But Mohamed Nour Dachan, president of the Union of Islamic communities and organisations in Italy (UCOII), thinks Mourinho is completely wrong on the matter. “I think Mourinho could do with talking a little less,” he told Sky TV. “A practising [Muslim] player is not weakened because we know from the Institute of Sports Medicine that mental and psychological stability can give a sportsman an extra edge on the field. “A player who is a believing Christian, Jew or Muslim is certainly calmer psychologically and that improves his performance.” Muntari has religiously stuck by his fasting regime, even though some players have simply decided that on match-days they will skip it.