CAIRO (AP) — This year’s African Cup of Nations in Egypt has been pushed back by six days to cater for Ramadan and allow Muslim players time to rest and recover after a month of fasting.
The Confederation of African Football says the tournament will now kick off on June 21 instead of June 15. The final has been put back six days to July 19. The move came after a request from a group of North African nations.
Some of Africa’s biggest stars, including Egypt forward Mohamed Salah and Senegal winger Sadio Mane, are Muslims.
Muslims abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, making it difficult for their teams to train or play. This year, Ramadan ends on June 4 and the move by CAF gives Muslim players nearly a week extra to prepare for Africa’s top tournament.
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