I had noticed it once in a while before the start of professional football games – players praying muslim style. This weekend two players were openly praying at the start of both game halves of my U16 game in Amsterdam. I respect that but wonder what the intention is.
I don’t know what they are praying for but surely not to win the game. In the opponent team there appeared to be also muslims. At least I noticed a few times one of the muslim players admonishing an opponent and calling him “brother” when a possible conflict arose. Not sure how he recognized him and if he appreciated this at all.
Well, I assume the prayer has saved me corrective talks and yellow cards. I eventually had to show a yellow card, but not to a muslim player. At least, this player had not been praying and wasn’t called ‘brother’. Next time I will need to find out what the prayer topic really is. It might come handy when needed to calm down players. I will recommend them also to start with prayer in future and tell me what it all means to me as referee.