Muslims hit out at Mourinho

A MUSLIM leader in Italy criticised Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho on Tuesday for comments the Portuguese made about Ramadan at the weekend.

A MUSLIM leader in Italy criticised Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho on Tuesday for comments the Portuguese made about Ramadan at the weekend.

Muslims around the world are fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, abstaining from eating or drinking during daylight hours.

One of those followers is Inter's Ghana midfielder Sulley Muntari, who Mourinho hauled off after just half an hour of Sunday's 1-1 home draw against Bari due to the former Portsmouth man's poor performance. Mourinho suggested Sulley had played badly due to a lack of energy from fasting.

But Mohamed Nour Dachan, president of the Union of Islamic Communities and Organisations in Italy, claimed the coach was wrong. "I think Mourinho could do with talking a little less," he told Sky TV.

"A practising (Muslim) player is not weakened because we know from the Institute of Sports Medicine that mental and psychological stability can give a sportsman an extra edge. A player who is a believing Christian, Jew or Muslim is certainly calmer pyschologically and that improves his performance."

But Mourinho was clearly irked with the player after the match.

"Muntari had some problems related to Ramadan, perhaps with this heat it's not good for him to be doing this (fasting)," the coach said. - Sapa-AFP

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