Leicester boss Rodgers to protect 'remarkable' Fofana during Ramadan

Brendan Rodgers reveals he subbed Wesley Fofana off EARLY so he could break his fast during Ramadan, with Leicester’s ‘remarkable’ defender playing an hour of their win over West Brom despite not eating or drinking all day

  • Ramadan is a month-long festival in the Islamic calendar until 12 May this year 
  • Wesley Fofana started Leicester’s wins against Southampton and West Brom 
  • He was substituted by Brendan Rodgers on the hour mark against the Baggies 
  • And the Foxes boss admits he will have to manage the player while he fasts 

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers admits he will have to protect Wesley Fofana with the centre-back currently observing Ramadan.

The month-long festival of Ramadan in the Islamic calendar runs until 12 May in the UK this year, and sees Muslims fast during daylight hours.

But the 20-year-old – despite not having eaten or drank water throughout the day – started Leicester’s 3-0 win against West Brom on Thursday night, just a few days after doing the same in their FA Cup semi-final win against Southampton.

Brendan Rodgers admits he will have to protect Wesley Fofana as he observes Ramadan

Foxes boss Rodgers substituted the 20-year-old after an hour in their win against West Brom

The game against West Brom kicked off at 8pm, and just 14 minutes later sunset fell in Leicester, signalling permission for fasting Muslims to eat and drink, and which coincided with the early stages of the club’s 3-0 win.

Rodgers then brought on Marc Albrighton for the Frenchman on the hour mark against Sam Allardyce’s men to allow him to eat and drink after night had fallen, and insists he will have to manage the young defender carefully during the fasting period. 

‘He’s fine. He’s a young player in the middle of Ramadan, so he’s not eating during the day,’ Rodgers said.

‘It’s remarkable. If you think of his performance at the weekend in an FA Cup semi-final, where he hasn’t eaten all day and then he had first taste of food with 15 minutes to go, and then the same today, with an 8pm kick-off, he’s not eaten all day or drank and he can still perform to that level.

The Frenchman also started the FA Cup semi-final win against Southampton while fasting

‘It was just one where I thought if I could get him off then he could get some food into him on the bench, and just protect him a little bit.

‘I’ve worked with lots of players with devotion to their faiths and for a lot of the guys it gives them strength.

‘He’s finding an incredible strength to play continuously and train during Ramadan. He’s a special talent and a big player for us.’

Fofana has been a revelation for the Foxes since joining from Saint-Etienne this summer.

Jonny Evans (centre) and Kelechi Iheanacho (right) were both on target against the Baggies

Starting against West Brom with Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu, the trio kept their third clean sheet in four games.

At the other end of the field, strikers Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho scored either side of Evans’ goal in a blistering opening 36 minutes at the King Power Stadium.

The win moved Leicester up to third in the Premier League table, four points ahead of fellow Champions League-chasing rivals Chelsea and West Ham.

Players in a Turkish football match were seen breaking their fast for Ramadan on the pitch during a stoppage in play earlier this month after hearing the evening call to prayer at sunset.    

A clip tweeted by broadcaster beIN Sports showed Ankara Keciorengucu players eating during a stoppage in play at Giresunspor in the TFF First League, Turkey’s second tier.

A quartet of players can be seen kneeling on the floor eating dates and bananas, while goalkeeper Metin Ucar was sipping water.  

Players in a Turkish football match were seen breaking their fast after an evening call to prayer

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