Jose Mourinho has come under fire once again after the head of the Union for the Communities and Organisations of Islam in Italy (UCOII), Mohamed Nour Dachan, slammed the Inter coach for his recent comments relating to Sulley Muntari and Ramadan.
The 'Special One' replaced the Ghana midfielder after 30 minutes following a poor showing on the pitch. Mourinho claimed Ramadan was having a negative influence on Muntari who practices Islam.
"Muntari had some problems related to Ramadan - perhaps with this heat it's not good for him to be doing this [fasting]," Mourinho told reporters after the game.
"Ramadan has not arrived at the ideal moment for a player to play a football match."
The comments have shocked the Islam world and have caused a considerable storm of criticism as the Portuguese coach finds himself caught up in another row.
"I think Mourinho should talk less," Dachan told La Repubblica.
"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."
Muslims fast between daylight hours during Ramadan, abstaining from food and drink from dawn until dusk.
This means Muntari would have had to play games in searing temperatures without adequate hydration. Experts claim sportsmen and women can suffer if they do not receive good hydration during hard physical exertion.
Goal.com caught up with leading personal trainer and nutritionist Giulio Scala who has worked alongside many professional sportsmen and women as well as elite athletes.
Scala claims fasting can have a big impact on the performance of players when on the pitch.
"A one per cent decrease in hydration can affect endurance by up to 20 per cent," Scala told Goal.com.
"Players performances will decrease due to dehydration as will aerobic capacity, strength and power.
"It would be worse during evening matches as the player would have gone up to 12 or more hours without any food. That means a decrease in energy and depleted glycogen levels.
"A player's capacity physically and mentally for him to work at his
optimum for 90 minutes would be highly affected due to inadequate nutrition."
Salvatore Landolina, Goal.com