Footballer dropped for refusing to break Ramadan fast as Nantes manager defends policy
Posted by  badge Boss on Apr 04
Nantes boss Antoine Kombouare dropped Jaouen Hadjam (Pictures: Getty)

Algerian footballer Jaouen Hadjam was dropped from Nantes’ squad for their Ligue 1 clash against Reims after refusing to break his fast.

Hadjam, 20, signed a three-and-a-half-year contract at Nantes after joining from Paris FC in January.

The Algeria international has made nine league appearances for Nantes but was not included in the squad for Sunday’s fixture against Reims.

Speaking after the match, Nantes manager Antoine Kombouare confirmed that Hadjam was dropped after insisting on not breaking his Ramadan fast.

Kombouare, who has managed several clubs in France over the past two decades, is reluctant to pick players who fast on match-days.

‘I’m a coach, I put rules in place,’ the 59-year-old said. ‘During the week, there are no problems with players fasting.

‘I’m ready to help and support them if needed. We know it’s not an easy time. But on matchday, you should not fast, and those who fast are not in the squad. I don’t want them to pick up an injury.

Nantes suffered a 3-0 defeat to Reims on Sunday (Picture: Getty)

‘It’s his choice and I respect it. This is not a sanction, but I have a framework.’

Kombouare added that other Muslim players in the his squad agreed to break their Ramadan fast in order to feature against Reims.

It has also been reported that Hadjam agreed to break his fast for away games but not home fixtures, meaning he is expected to miss Nantes’ French Cup semi-final against Lyon on Wednesday.

Many people observing Ramadan – which ends on April 20 – fast from dawn to sunset.

Nantes were beaten 3-0 by Reims on Sunday, leaving Kombouare’s side 14th in the French top-flight, four points above the relegation zone.

In the English Premier League, match officials are urged to allow natural breaks in play to give players the chance to break their Ramadan fast during evening matches. No such policy came from the French FA.

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