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Tunisia's Goalkeeper Keeps Getting 'Injured' at Sundown

It might have something to do with allowing his teammates to get some snacks
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2018 2:18 PM CDT
A file photo of goalkeeper Mouez Hassen, at left, making a stop.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

(Newser) – The goalie for Tunisia's World Cup soccer team has fallen to the turf claiming to be injured in each of the last two games, almost precisely at sunset each time. Bizarre coincidence? Possibly. Goalie Mouez Hassen, however, has slyly acknowledged that something else is going on—and it involves allowing his hungry teammates to grab some snacks. The BBC explains: Members of the team are fasting for Ramadan, but the fast is broken at sunset with a modest meal known as Iftar, usually dates and water. Each time Hassen went down with his "injury," his teammates rushed to the sideline to feast on dates and water during the medical delay.

It seems to have helped: In one game, Tunisia trailed Portugal 2-1 before the delay, but tied the game six minutes after the break. The match ended in a draw. The second match also ended in a draw, though apparently without the help of a date-fueled goal. The not-so-subtle scheme is making the rounds of Tunisian social media, and Hassen himself has joined in. "I was hurt, bruv," he tweeted, per the BBC's translation—but he added three laughing emojis. Both of the matches were "friendlies," or exhibition games. Tunisia's first official World Cup match won't be played until June 18 against England, and Ramadan will be over by then, notes al-Jazeera. (Read more soccer stories.)

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