Algeria defender Jaouen Hadjam was dropped from Nantes‘ squad before their defeat to Stade de Reims in Ligue 1 on Sunday after insisting on not breaking his Ramadan fast, said his manager, Antoine Kombouare.

Hadjam joined Nantes in January from Paris FC and has featured in nine league matches so far.

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“Jaouen? There is no controversy. Those who fast, I support them … on matchdays, you should not fast,” Kombouare told a news conference after their 3-0 home defeat. “It is not a punishment. I set rules. It’s his choice, and I respect it.”

Local reports said the 20-year-old agreed to break his fast in away matches only. Observing Ramadan, which will end on April 20, includes fasting from dawn until sunset.

Nantes are 14th in the league table on 30 points, four above the relegation zone.

France-born Hadjam decided last month to represent Algeria, and he played in their 1-0 victory over Niger.

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Nantes drop player for insisting on Ramadan fast