Italy: Inter Milan coach links poor game to Ramadan

Italy: Inter Milan coach links poor game to Ramadan

Inter Milan coach Jose' Mourinho has spurred a fresh flap by suggesting that a Muslim midfielder had a poor game after drinking too little because of Ramadan.

Speaking after Sunday's lacklustre 1-1 draw with newly promoted Bari, the Portuguese coach said: ''(Sulley) Muntari had some problems related to Ramadan - perhaps with this heat it's not good for him to be doing this (fasting)''.

The suggestion did not go down well with Italy's Muslims. ''I think Mourinho should talk a bit less,'' said Mohamed Nour Dachan, head of one of the country's main Muslim associations, UCOII.

''There's no reason why a player who is religiously observant should perform less,'' said the UCOII chief, who claimed the faith of Christian, Jewish or Muslim players would boost their performances by making them more ''tranquil''.

Muntari, a Ghanaian international, was substituted after 30 minutes against Bari in a match the Italian champions were widely tipped to win.

Mourinho's theory that he might have been suffering from the Ramadan ban on daylight drinking held no water for the man who trains Muntari with the national squad, Milan university motor science professor Stefano Tirelli.

''Not all players react the same way to...Ramadan. Some have less energy in training and matches. But others have resources, in their character, emotions and genes, to put in adequate performances. Muntari is one of those''.

Tirelli said he had not heard from the player since the game but reckoned that the display against Bari was the result of ''a series of contributory factors, not a direct link to Ramadan''.


Source: ANSA (English)

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