After years of seeking more support from Major League Soccer during the holy month of Ramadan, Muslim players finally have something big to celebrate.

The league recently implemented a policy that allows players who fast during Ramadan to quickly break their fast along the sidelines during a game stoppage just after sunset.

“The leaguewide ‘Drinks Break’ policy is a shift from years past, when Muslim players were expected to wait until halftime or after the game to break their fasts,” Religion News Service reported.

That old approach was challenging, since each half of an MLS game lasts at least 45 minutes. Players who hadn’t eaten or had a drink since sunrise would have to remain hungry and thirsty long after the sun went down.

Now, referees can briefly stop play during evening games involving Muslim players. They did so during an April 1 game between the Columbus Crew and Real Salt Lake, which involved two Crew players who are fasting for Ramadan.

During the game stoppage, “Mohamed Farsi and Steven Moreira knelt on the sideline, eating pitted dates and sipping sports drinks,” Religion News Service reported.

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Moreira shared a message of thanks on Twitter after that April 1 game, alluding to how much the new “Drinks Break” policy means to him.

“Thank you for having this respect for our religion,” Moreira tweeted.

Muslim soccer players are also enjoying more support this month in England, where both the Premier League and English Football League now allow referees to pause games during Ramadan to allow fasting players to eat and drink, as the Deseret News previously reported.

The National Women’s Soccer League has also adopted a “Drinks Break” policy for Ramadan, but referees have not yet needed to use it due to a lack of Muslim players, according to Religion News Service.

Elsewhere, Muslim players continue to face pushback when they request religious accommodations during Ramadan. In Ligue 1 in France, for example, fasting players are sometimes benched and referees are told not to allow Ramadan-related breaks in play.

“Ligue 1, France’s top-flight soccer league, reportedly sent an email to referees (in early April) warning them against allowing fast-breaking stoppages,” Religion News Service reported.

In other sports, Muslim players are generally able to break their fasts without any help from referees.

Basketball players, for example, can take advantage of frequent substitutions or later start times for games, as three University of Connecticut basketball players recently did during their successful pursuit of the NCAA title.

UConn star Adama Sanogo said he never considered skipping his Ramadan observance, despite the high stakes of March Madness, as the Deseret News previously reported.

“I’m healthy, I’m feeling good, so why not? My mom, too. She calls me every day to check on me. She is fasting, so I can fast,” Sanogo told CT Insider.

This year, Ramadan ends the evening of Friday, April 21.