DEARBORN (WWJ) — World Cup soccer players have enough to deal with on the field.

But during the holy month of Ramadan, Muslim players observe the fast. Some Dearborn players said that these athletes have a leg up over their competition.

One Dearborn-based soccer league explained that the month-long fast helps their game. The Michigan Yemen Sports Association’s adult team beat a non-Muslim team earlier this week. Kamal Saeed said that the fast gives him better concentration on the field.

“It makes you more durable — you can play in any kind of condition,” Saeed said. “You don’t need water, you can get through stuff. It allows you to be clutch — you can do more stuff.”

At a Lapeer Park pick-up game, players said lack of food and water actually helps them score. Bassam Alsay said the fast creates an intense focus and kicking the ball becomes easier.

“You don’t think about water breaks, you don’t think about anything,” Alsay said. “You have one straight path and that’s what you want to think — go straight, don’t think of the breaks, don’t think of anything.”

When the thirst becomes unbearable, Alsay said that he dumps a bucket of ice water over his head.

“When you don’t think about it, you get over it. It’s not hard at all,” Alsay said.


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