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Ramadan: France Star Leaves National Team Camp over Fasting Ban

Mahamadou Diawara, a midfielder for Lyon, has left the France under-19 team because to new regulations from the French Football Federation (FFF) that prohibits Muslim players from fasting during Ramadan.

According to ESPN sources, Diawara chose to leave and go back to his club because he did not agree with the new regulations, which are applied to all levels of the team, from the U16 level to the senior squad.

The Nantes player Dehmaine Tabibou Assoumani has been called up by the FFF to replace Diawara, who has confirmed his return to his club.

FFF president Philippe Diallo said in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro on Wednesday that he has put in place new rules regarding players fasting for Ramadan while on France duty, arguing that a “principle of neutrality” is written into the organisation’s founding statutes and that the measures “ensure that religion does not interfere with an athlete.”

The new FFF rules state that players called up with by French national teams cannot fast during the period of Ramadan, instead insisting that players follow the usual rhythm of the teams’ organisations and operations.

Players who observe Ramadan, which began between March 10-11 and is expected to end around April 10, will not be able to fast while at the country’s Clairefontaine training base and will have to make up for the fasting days they miss at the end of the religious festival.

Every French national team head coach, from U16 boss Lionel Rouxel to senior head coach Didier Deschamps, told their players at the start of the international break.

“Some players are not happy with this decision,” an agent representing a number of players in a number of France’s youth and senior sides told ESPN. “They believe that their religion is not respected and that they are not respected either. Some don’t want to cause a fuss but Mahamadou was not happy with it so he left.”

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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