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Bundesliga match paused for the first time in history to allow a player to break their fast

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Moussa Niakhate thanks referee as match is paused for the first time in Bundesliga history to allow the Mainz player to break his fast during Ramadan during clash with Augsburg

  • Referee Matthias Jollenbeck paused Mainz’s Bundesliga game with Augsburg 
  • He allowed Mainz player Moussa Niakhate to break his fast and hydrate himself
  • The Mainz defender then ran towards the referee to thank him for his gesture  

Play was stopped during a Bundesliga match to allow Mainz defender Moussa Niakhate to break his fast.

Ramadan started at the beginning of April, during which, those partaking must not eat or drink anything during hours of daylight.

So in the 65th minute of of Mainz’s trip to Augsburg, referee Matthias Jollenbeck halted proceedings so Niakhate ​could hydrate himself.

Moussa Niakhate became the first player in Bundesliga history to break their fast in a match

Moussa Niakhate became the first player in Bundesliga history to break their fast in a match

The game was paused in the 65th minute to allow the Mainz defender to hydrate himself

The game was paused in the 65th minute to allow the Mainz defender to hydrate himself

In doing so the referee and Niakhate made Bundesliga history as it was the first time that a game has been stopped to allow a player to break fast for their Ramadan.

Niakhate took drinks out of two bottles while speaking to Mainz goalkeeper Robin Zentner. 

The 26-year-old then applauded the referee for gesture and ran up to thank Jollenbeck by shaking his hand. 

Lutz Michael Frohlich, director of communications for the German Referee Committee​, has approved referees stopping games to allow players to break their fast.

Niakhate then chased referee Matthias Jollenbeckm to thank him for halting proceedings

Niakhate then chased referee Matthias Jollenbeckm to thank him for halting proceedings

On Monday, he said: ‘There is no general instruction in this regard, but of course we support our referees allowing such drinking breaks during Ramadan at the request of the players.’

During the match which took place last week, Augsburg took a 2-1 victory over Mainz at home.

Over the weekend, there were more examples of referees pausing games to allow players to break their fast.

Those that are partaking in Ramadan must not eat or drink during hours of daylight

Those that are partaking in Ramadan must not eat or drink during hours of daylight

In RB Leipzig’s 3-0 win over Hoffenheim on Sunday, referee Bastian Dankert allowed Mohamed Siamakan a few minutes to hydrate   

It is a sight that could be seen in the Premier League over the next few weeks during evening kick-offs.

Last season in the meeting between Leicester and Crystal Palace at the King Power Stadium, there was a pause in play to allow Foxes defender Wesley Fofana and Eagles midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate to break their fast. 

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