With Ramadan approaching, institutions within the football world are revisiting their areas of inclusion.
Ahead of the Islamic month of Ramadan starting, Chelsea Foundation will host an Open Iftar at the side of the pitch at Stamford Bridge, in what will be a first for the club and Premier League stadium.
In collaboration with the Ramadan Tent Project, marking its 10th anniversary, the organisation will seek to drive inclusion across all faiths, expressly those who practice fasting during Ramadan.
Omar Salha, founder and CEO of the Ramadan Tent Project, voiced the importance of such occasions, anointing it as an opportunity to unite the community.
“We are honoured to bring Open Iftar to Stamford Bridge on the occasion of our 10-year anniversary and our 2023 theme of “Belonging,” and work in partnership with Chelsea FC who have been driving inclusivity in football,” Salha said.
“To such an extent, the “Pride of London” will be the first Premier League club in history to host an Open Iftar event,” the Ramadan Tent Project founder added.
“Football and Ramadan brings people together over shared experiences, and we are thrilled to share this important celebration with football supporters from all backgrounds, representing a community of communities.”
The Premier League landscape has changed drastically for the Muslim community over the last few decades.
Since the arrival of several notable Muslim stars such as Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, N’Golo Kante among others, the premise of the faith has surfaced onto both the pitch and among the public.
Whilst Islamic beliefs have yet to be accommodated in the schedule of footballers, a stepping stone has been lifted with the Open Iftar.
Simon Taylor, head of the Chelsea Foundation, expressed his pridefulness in being the first club to create such an event.
“I’m delighted to announce our Open Iftar alongside the Ramadan Tent Project, and we are extremely proud to be the first Premier League club to be doing so.
Recognising Ramadan and our Muslim community is a crucial aspect of our work in promoting religious tolerance,” Taylor said in a statement.