Ghana is a multi-religious country and as a matter of fact prides herself as one of the most religious nations. With Christianity and Islam fairly dominant in the West African Country, the holy month of Ramadan comes with so much glee for the Muslim community.
Religion also affects the football loving country and so Ghanansoccernet.com takes an extensive look at Muslim players in the Ghana Premier League.
Ashantigold has seven Muslim players in their squad with four of them actively involved in the team this season. Defender Samed Ibrahim is a rock at the Back for the miners and has featured in most of the clubs games.
Shafiu Mumuni is one of the few experienced players in the Ashantigold team and remains an integral member of the club. He scored the important second goal against Kumasi Asante Kotoko in the Ghana Premier League this campaign.
Midfielder Habib Mohammed comes into the team occasionally and he is yet to establish himself as a regular.
Latif Anabila returned to the country from Tunisia where he played for Club African. The former U-20 midfielder’s quality has been very important for the club.
Shafiq Muntari, Mubarak Yussif and Nurudeen Abdulai are the other Muslim players with the Aboakese.
The Porcupine Warriors have five Muslim players with almost all of them regulars apart from Ghana U-17 goalkeeper Dan Lad Ibrahim, who deputizes for Felix Annan.
Wahab Adams who joined from Aduana Stars has been a regular member of the club pairing with fellow Muslim brother Nafiu Awudu in the heart of defence. Nafiu joined the club last season from Ashantigold.
Midfielder Baba Mahama has struggled since the departure of Steve Pollack to break into the side but was a key member of the side that won the FA Cup last term.
Foreign imports Mohammed Syla Vie and Yacouba Songne complete the list.
The one time Ghana Premier League Champions have seven Muslims in their squad.
Midfielders Braimah Mohammed and Zakaria Fuseinin have been a key part of the Berekum Chelsea team and were in the lineup that thrashed Hearts of Oak 3-0 in Berekum this season. Defender Wahab Ahadzi comes in and out of the team with goalkeeper Yussif Moro, signed when John Moosie left the club.
Latif Salifu needs no introduction to Ghana football, the striker has been one of the finest players in the league. Karim Abedi completes the Muslim squad at the club.
Bechem United will be the most affected in the Ramadan period because they have arguably the best player in the domestic league in their team. Hafiz Wontah Konkoni leads the goal scorers chat with seven goals and has been key for the hunters.
Other players like Hamza Mohammed, Razak Boame, Abubakar Sadiq Haji and Jafaru Kamal have all played a part in the club’s games this season.
Meanwhile, Abdul Karim and Moro Salifu have hardly had a look into the team.
The Premier League returnees are one of the sides with the largest number of Muslims in their squad. Ten of their players will be observing the fast with sensational striker Zeberu Shari also involved in the Ramadan activities.
Issah Yakubu, Montari Kamacheni, Masahdu Abdulai and new signing Abdul Razak Cromwell have all seen action this season with Yahaya Ishawi, Zakaria Mugeese , Majid Nuhu and Abdul Jalilu also working on getting a way into the team.
The Elmina based club will probably be counting their stars because they have the fewest Muslim contingent in their squad. Sharks have three Muslims with only two actively involved this season.
Suraj Ibrahim and Mohammed Tanko Ismail have played more games for the club this season with Mohammed Nortey Tettey barely playing a part in the campaign.
Struggling in the current campaign and it looks like that will continue with five of their players fasting in the holy month of Ramadan. Razak Issah, Alhaji Mustapha, Osman Mohammed and Abu Naba are all key players for the Club. Meanwhile, Imoro Adam has not been an integral member of the team.
The Tema based club has a huge number of Muslims in it squad and the interesting bit is they are all regulars in the team including goalkeeper Kwame Baah who has converted to Islam and goes by the name Abdul Rahman.
Saeed Salifu, Fard Ibrahim, Hashmin Musa, Issahaku Zakari, Mohammed Zakari, Fuseini Mohammed and Abdul Nassiru Hamza are all muslin players at Inter Allies.
HEARTS OF OAK
For a club as mighty as Accra Hearts of Oak, one may think they have a big number of Muslim s in their squad. Actually they do but not all of are as influential as they should.
Fatawu Mohammed, a key member of the team, captained a couple of times. Inusah Musah- one time defender of the year- another regular on the pitch but has struggled to remain fit in the last two seasons.
Aminu Alhassan rejoined the team after a year loan and Samudeen Ibrahim has been a hot and cold player for the Phobians this season.
However, foreign imports Camara Nguessen and Aboubacar Troare are yet to make a claim in he team with the former just acquiring g his Internatioanl Transfer Certificate.
One of the top performing teams in the local league this season and this is as a result of some of the fact that their top performing players are Muslims. Recently converted Muslim, Justice Blay has been on fine form with the club together with MTN FA Cup defender of the year Ibrahim Yaro.
Rashid Nortey, Alii Outarra Yussif and Tahiru Awudu have been immense for the Mauves and Yellow.
Meanwhile, Amin Adams is finding his way into the team.
WA ALL STARS
For a team from the North, it is reservedly right they have the highest number of Muslims in their squad. The former Ghana Premier League Champions have 14 Muslims in their squad. 9 of them are regulars in the team with rest hoping to impress technical handlers for a position in the team.
Black Satellites Caoptain Isshaku Konda leads the pac of Muslims at the club. Wahidu Mumuni, Rashid Seidu, Abdul Nasiru Zakari, Rashid Alhassan, Mohammed Yakubu, Yussif Ibrahim and Yahaya Mohammed are all members of the team.
Baba Musah, Jamal Deen Haruna, Yussif Fadi and Aminu Mohammed complete the list.
WEST AFRICA FOOTBALL ACADEMY (WAFA)
The club with an average playing age of about 16 has quite a number of Muslims in their team. Golden boy of the domestic game Aminu Mohammed, who begin the season in explosive manner, is in the team but has been out recently due to injury. Currently in Spain undergoing treatment.
Musah Nuhu, a stalwart at the back, Ibrahim Foffana, Umar Bashiru and Atte Youssif have been regular with the Acadmy boys. Meanwhile Adam Inusah and Jamal Haruna will need to work hard to have a look into the team.
The new Ghana Premier League campaigners have a very small squad of Muslim players at their fold. Alhaji Sani not a regular though but Ibrahim Imoro- who joined from relegated Bolga All Star, Abdul Ganiu Ismail and Sadiq Alhassan have been integral part of the giant killers.
Another new comer in the Ghana Premier League, the club from Techiman has in foundation built on Muslim players. 12 of the club’s players are Muslim and most of them are starters in the team.
Wahidu Issahaku, Abdul Ganiyu Fuseini, Abu Dauda, Iddrisu Mohammed, Yussif Hussein, Fuseini Alidu and Abdul Wahab have all played a role at the club this season.
Meanwhile, Baba Ali, Hassan Nurain, Alhassan Tahidu, Iddrisu Yahaya and Rashid Sulemana are yet to make an impact in the team.
The Ghana Premier League Champions have a fair amount of Muslims in their squad with former Wa All Stars Captain, Hafiz Adams, veteran forward Yahaya Mohammed, skillful winger Zakaria Mumuni and Abdul Rashid key members of the team. Yahaya Mohammed scored the first hat-trick in the Ghana Premier League this season.
Farouk Adams, Tijani Ahmed, Abu Sadiq, Fataw Abdul Rahman and recent signing Hainikoye Soumana Aboubacar the other Muslims in the squad.
The scientific soccer lads are nothing having the kind of season they want but would not really bother with the start of Ramadan because they have very few Muslims on their roaster. Experienced goalkeeper Fatao Alhassan Dida, Tamimu Muntari and Zakaria Nasiru Banahene all regular members of the Dansoman based club.
However, Alhaji Sani remains the only player to have not been regularly involved.
The Holy month of Ramadan will definitely have a toll on some teams, especially Inter Allies, whose Muslim contingent virtually make their first eleven. Other teams that may be affected are WAFA and Wa All Stars who also have a huge number of Muslims in the squad.
But clubs like Liberty Professionals, Elmina Sharks and Bechem United will thank their stars due to the small numbers of Muslims players in the squad.