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World Cup 2018: Russia to Release Travel Guide for Muslims

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Rabat- With seven Muslim-majority countries to compete in the Russia 2018 World Cup (Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Senegal and Nigeria), the International Federation of Football Association will release a Muslim-friendly travel guide.

This guide will help the expected 100,000 Muslim fans locate mosques, halal restaurants, and prayer times, among other commodities.

In an interview with Arab News, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura declared that the governing body of the football association strives to make traveling to Russia as comfortable as possible for Muslim fans.

“The World Cup this year will feature seven teams that will have a majority of Muslim players and most of the fans will be fasting during Ramadan, which ends just before the opening game,” Samoura added. “We at FIFA would like to make sure all Muslims, be they players, staff or fans, have all the information they need.”

Russia will meet Saudi Arabia in the opening match at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 14, which coincides with the celebration of Eid Al-Fitr at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

Around 30 million Muslims live in Russia with 50,000 mosques catering to their religious needs, according to the Central Muslim Spiritual Board of Russia. “I can assure you there will be no discrimination whatsoever and the assistance Muslims will receive will be as they were at home,” affirmed Samoura.  

After an absence that lasted two decades, the Moroccan team will play its first World Cup match on June 15 against Iran.

“The Atlas Lions are back at the World Cup for the first time in two decades, having topped and emerged unbeaten from a group that included Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon and Mali,” reported FIFA.

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