Islamic soccer players competing for the world cup are going to have to make some decisions about their nourishment now that Ramadan is approaching. Followers of Islam traditionally fast during this time, but this could compromise the players ability on the field and affect the outcome of the games. Some players plan on getting by without nourishment, but others plan on picking their career over their religious duties.
Muslim players have some options, though. FIFA Chief Medical Officer Jiri Dvorak suggested at a Monday media briefing that players observing Ramadan can ask religious authorities for an exemption and make up for the missed fast days at a later time. And during the 2012 Olympics, the United Arab Emirates’ soccer team was exempted from fasting during the tournament by the country’s highest religious body. Aleksandra Gjorgievska, Time (Source)
I find the idea of players asking for an exemption to make up the days of fasting interesting. It is modern situations like these that put fundamentalist views of religion into perspective. We don’t take superstitious notions quite as seriously. If progressive religion continues to grow, the religious people of the future might not even be considered religious by todays standards. In the same way the churches of the past might have considered todays churches to be heretical.
In the old testament observing the holy days was taken very seriously; God even ordered the hebrews to kill their neighbors who worked on the sabbath. Then we went through a period where we burnt witches and demonic possession was a medical term. Now soccer players are asking to skip fasting so they can play soccer even though it’s a religious duty. Society changes over time, and the churches follow.