Tunisia goalkeeper ‘fakes injury’ to break Ramadan fast

Tunisia's goalkeeper Mouez Hassen lays on the groundImage copyrightTélévision Tunisienne 1
Image caption When goalkeeper Mouez Hassen collapsed at sundown, his teammates feasted on dates

Tunisia’s World Cup football team has apparently found an ingenious way to fight fatigue as they fast for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

In friendly matches against Portugal then Turkey, goalkeeper Mouez Hassen appeared to feign injury at sundown, when the fast comes to an end.

As he lay on the pitch receiving medical treatment, his teammates rushed to the sidelines to drink water and snack on dates.

Tunisia goalkeeper ‘fakes injury’ to break Ramadan fast
Tunisia goalkeeper ‘fakes injury’ to break Ramadan fast

And it produced immediate results.

Down 2-1 to European champions Portugal, Tunisia rebounded six minutes after Hassen’s injury break by scoring an equaliser and ended the match 2-2.

Days later against Turkey, Hassen stopped play by lying on his back.

Again, his teammates ate dates and drank water provided to them by waiting coaching staff. That match also ended 2-2.

Image copyrightTélévision Tunisienne 1
Image caption Defender Ali Maaloul (L) is seen here snacking on dates…

Image copyrightTélévision Tunisienne 1
Image caption He then takes a gulp from a bottle of water handed to him by staff

Footage of that incident has been shared by a Tunisian football fan account. The story has entertained many in the country.

Skip Twitter post by @LADC_Officiel

🎥 : Mouez Hassen (@hassen_mouez) touché lors d’un contact aérien avec un joueur turc,les Aigles de Carthage en profitent pour romprent le jeûne avec quelques barres énergétiques,des dattes et de l’eau🥛🍪

#Ramadan#Iftar#TUNTUR 🇹🇳🇹🇷(2-2) @LBDFootball@tunisiefootballpic.twitter.com/iGYLlijTlm

— Les Aigles de Carthage 🇹🇳🦅 (@LADC_Officiel) June 3, 2018


End of Twitter post by @LADC_Officiel

Skip Twitter post by @SKhmira

Fun fact:

Tunisian National team has played the last two friendlies while fasting. So, whenever the time comes to break Fast. The players have an agreement that the GK would go down so they can get a moment to drink some water and get something to eat 😂😂#Ramadan#tunisiapic.twitter.com/4Rgz380ukW

— Souhail Khmira (@SKhmira) June 2, 2018


End of Twitter post by @SKhmira

Pundits in Tunisia were quick to note the timing of the goalkeeper’s injuries in the second half of both matches – in the 58th and 47th minutes of play respectively.

This coincided with the time of sunset, which is when Iftar – the breaking of the fast usually with dates and water – begins for Muslims observing Ramadan.

The Tunisian football federation has yet to comment on the timing of the two injury breaks.

But goalkeeper Hassen tweeted: “I was hurt, bruv” along with laughing emojis, in response to fellow footballer Chaker Alhadhur’s jokey comment: “It’s all right now, we know you were pretending.”

Skip Twitter post by @hassen_mouez

J’avais mal frero 😂😂😂

— Mouez Hassen (@hassen_mouez) June 3, 2018


End of Twitter post by @hassen_mouez

All eyes will be on Tunisia’s goalkeeper when the team plays its next friendly against Spain on 9 June.

The North Africans’ first World Cup match takes place against England on 18 June, by which point Ramadan will be over.

Image copyrightAFP
Image caption Tunisia are one of five African teams at the World Cup

What is Ramadan?

During Ramadan, Muslims are required to abstain from food, liquids and intimacy between sunrise and sunset.

The aim is to increase spirituality and religious observance through longer prayers and self-control, as Ramadan is seen as an opportunity to replenish one’s spirituality.

The intention to fast must be made every day before dawn. The intention or “niyyah” may be made during the night before going to sleep or it can also be made at the time of “suhoor” or pre-dawn meal.

It is acceptable not to fast during Ramadan if you are pregnant, have a physical or mental illness, are elderly, experiencing severe thirst or hunger, travelling, or if your life is threatened should you not break the fast.

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