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Special One: Equal Opportunity Offender!

August 26, 2009

Shut Up Critics!

Shut Up Critics!

Of all the personalities in world football, Jose Mourinho is probably the only person I look forward to hearing speak. He’s often arrogant, comical, insulting and did I say arrogant? The “Special One” doesn’t hold back when it comes to  expressing what he thinks often landing him in hot waters. Just like vintage Jose, he did just that… again!

Thirty minutes after a terrible peformance on the pitch, Mourinho pulled out his star midfileder Sulley Muntari. The Ghana international is a Muslim who is currently partaking in Ramadan, a time of reflection for the devoted Islam. Ramadan also requires Muslims to abstain from food, drink and intercourse from dawn ’till dusk. This means Muntari and other Muslim footballers are playing the game regardless of temperature without the proper hydration or food intake.

After the match, Mourinho was quoted saying “Muntari had some problems related to Ramadan – perhaps with this heat it’s not good for him to be doing this [fasting],” the Inter manager also added “Ramadan has not arrived at the ideal moment for a player to play a football match.”

These comments shocked and angered some parts of the Muslim world and a representative of UCOII, an Italian association of Muslims had these to say:

“I think Mourinho should talk less,” said Mohamed Nour Dachan.

“A player who practices Islam does not perform less on the pitch. We know that medicine in Sport and mental stability, and psychology make players perform well.

“A player who is Christian, Hebrew or Muslim will have a tranquil mind and will always perform better on the pitch.”

In my opinion, a manager must be able to take these things into account. Jose might be guilty of moaning instead of thinking of ways to compensate for his team’s handicap. Besides, you can’t really prevent one from practicing religion even in the work place. Even in football…

What would you do if you were the Special One?


12 Comments leave one →
  1. August 26, 2009 3:31 pm

    As a Catholic living in a Muslim country for most of the last 30years, I am well aware of the practise of Ramadhan. I would not even consider to put Muntari on my bench. Muntari must understand that as manager, results count more than any player’s religion. If Inter suffers a drastic result, the blame will be put on Mourinho’s shoulder and not Muntari, as people will claim “It’s the manager that picks the team”

    If you think I’m an equal opportunity offender, I would like you to try abstaining from food and water (including your own saliva!) from 5am in the morning, go for a light pre-game practise in the morning, then play football at 5pm. Let’s see if you can put in 100% effort and energy, and then you tell me how you feel after 30minutes.

  2. August 26, 2009 4:50 pm

    I think Ramadan is a time for sacrifice so Muslim players know that their practices involving abstaining from food and drink can possibly result in weakened performance and a subsequent sacrifice of time on the pitch.
    I bet devout Muslim footballers are ok with that.

    If a player isn’t performing at his best for any reason, the manager has the right to act as he sees fit.

    Sure, Jose’s comments came off as arrogant but who would expect anything else?

  3. Shortbus permalink
    August 26, 2009 4:55 pm

    “SHUT UP you Muslims”- sp1

  4. maserati4200 permalink
    August 26, 2009 5:19 pm

    You can’t play top flight football if you don’t have the fuel required to perfom – carbos and fluids are essential. If the guy had expired on the pitch from lack of fuel the outcry from certain quarters would have been deafening.

    Mourinho should not have selected him for this game in the first place.

  5. August 26, 2009 5:36 pm

    as a devout muslim and a ramadhan partaker, oh look lightning, its harder to do everyday things even if you take in food and fluid in the last possible moment before fasting starts but its not impossible. i guess if you have the right diet to help with playing football during the day, it shouldnt be a problem although weather is a major factor.

    i remember playing football during a wintery ramadhan, wasnt a problem. then again, by the time i finished it was time to break fast. summer is kinda hard i guess, the days are longer and dawn is later than say, during winter.

    was mourinho being insensitive? sure, what else is new? if mr dachan knows his football, then he should know to take mourinho with a pinch of salt always.

  6. August 26, 2009 6:01 pm

    Actually I just remembered a similar issue raised in the NBA some 10yrs ago. Hakeem Olajuwon then of the Houston Rockets, Dikembe Mutombo then of Denver Nuggets and Shareef Abdur Rahim then of the now-defunct Vancouver Grizzlies suffered similar criticisms for fasting in the NBA (thats basketball for those who didn’t know) during the regular season.

    Having said that, in basketball, you get more rest time and can substitute in and out of the game often enough to at least catch your breath, unlike football.

  7. August 26, 2009 8:05 pm

    Religion shouldn’t even come into play in all of this.
    It’s 100% about performance.
    Is a player or is a player not performing at their best?
    Reportedly Muntari wasn’t playing to a satisfactory level.
    It’s not even that Jose’s statement wasn’t appropriate, it wasn’t necessary.

    Ugh. Religion and politics. Nothing gets people all fussed more than those two topics. Nope, not even football.

  8. James permalink
    August 27, 2009 3:03 am

    If you’re moaning about his performance then sub him. Its that simple. I think Mourinho needs a donkey shot.

  9. August 27, 2009 8:04 am

    well the players need to go and play for another club in another country where during his holy month, it will be considered as off-season.

    • August 27, 2009 8:41 am

      Religion always comes first . Performing for a club won’t do any good in the next life!!

    • August 27, 2009 1:28 pm

      Perhaps some education is at hand. The muslim calendar does not have 365 days in a year like we do, and is some 15-20 days short of the Gregorian calendar. As a result, the month of Ramadhan is moved forward by 2 wks or so every year, so to have a fixed off season is impossible, as this off season moves every season.

  10. Petar permalink
    August 27, 2009 2:13 pm

    Well whatever way you look at it Mourinho is the manager and first and foremost has to look for the results. It’s not his responsibility to make exceptions for individuals who partake in such activities being religious or not knowing that it will affect their performance. From where I stand if players are devout then I don’t think they would mind being benched for a couple games if thats what it takes. Besides from the quotes I read he seemed quite respectful.

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