Defender explains what it’s like to play professional football during Ramadan
- Naby Sarr on how Huddersfield Town supported him through Ramadan
- Defender on playing professional football without breaking fast
- Interview first seen on Huddersfield Town’s Preview Show
What’s it like to be a professional footballer during Ramadan? Well, Naby Sarr told us all about it.
For many around the world Ramadan will come to an end this evening, and Eid al-Fitr celebrations begin.
But during Ramadan, Muslims will have an early morning meal before dawn, known as suhoor or sehri, before they break their fast after sunset for the evening meal, called iftar or fitoor.
There has been an increased emphasis on a footballer’s diet of late to make sure they take in the correct food that gives them more energy and helps them to perform at the highest level.
However, during the last month, Naby has essentially been running empty, playing games and working hard in training sessions, without a substantial meal, as he came closer to his faith.
Speaking on The Preview Show ahead of Town’s fixture against Blackburn Rovers a few weeks back, the centre-back discussed the effects of Ramadan and also how the club has helped him deal with the practice of fasting from dawn to sunset.
“It is hard, but it is not the first year I have done this, your body adapts after one week and after that everything is in the mind.
“When you are on the pitch you focus on performing well, even if you have not had anything to eat or drink you are only thinking about the game.
“It is something special and important to the Muslim community, but I believe we can do both, we can perform well on the pitch whilst performing for our religion.
“The Club has been helping me the best way they possibly can especially with the Club Nutritionist. I had a good chat about what I should eat and drink when I could break fast as I wasn’t drinking or eating all day in training, it is important to have the right food and drinks when you break the fast.
“The Club has helped me a lot, knowing someone has gathered information about Ramadan meaning they know what is best for us is really helpful for me.
“The club helped me a lot in this situation, and I cannot ask for anything more from them.
“It was hard because training and games are not the same. The effort in a game is much more violent, so it is different but when you get used to it, it becomes easier and easier each year.”