On Tuesday 11th April, London FA joined Fulham FC and Surrey FA at Motspur Park to celebrate the month of Ramadan with a football tournament and Iftar (breaking of the fast), marking the importance of supporting Muslim players across London and Surrey.
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and considered the most holy month of the year by Muslims. The period of fasting (one of the Five Pillars of Islam) is observed by Muslims across the globe as a commemoration of the first revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), according to Islamic belief.
This year Ramadan started on the 22nd March and is due to finish on the 21st April, subject to the sighting of a new moon.
To mark the holy period a 7-a-side tournament was held at Fulham FC’s training ground - Motspur Park - with some players choosing to practise their faith with prayer (Asr - late afternoon prayer) ahead of kick off.
Teams from Frenford, Fulham FC Academy, Fulham FC Foundation, London FA, Nujum Sports and Surrey FA put on a spectacle of excellent skill, and feisty competitiveness, in the search for this year’s champions.
Nujum Sports were victorious on the day. Founder & CEO, Ebadur Rahman said: "Over the last year, Nujum has been working tirelessly with London FA and Fulham FC with a primary mission of ‘Enabling their Muslim Athletes to flourish and fulfil their potential."
"We were honoured to take part in the tournament and Iftar at the Fulham training ground alongside 5 other teams. The evening was a brilliant show of allyship.
"We hope our relationship goes from strength-to-strength next season with both London FA and Fulham."
Once the football was over, everyone gathered to see Nujum Sports lift the trophy and break the fast (Iftar). Players from all teams came and sat together, enjoying the array of food and drink put on by Fulham.
The Iftar was also a great opportunity to discuss the importance of Ramadan, and how London and Surrey FA can best support Muslim players and local Islamic communities.
London FA Disability and Inclusion Football Development Officer, Conor McBrearty said: ‘It was a pleasure for London FA to work in partnership with Nujum Sports and Fulham FC to run a fantastic event to celebrate Ramadan. It was great to have Surrey FA and Frenford FC involved in the event as well and enjoy a friendly football competition followed by everyone breaking fast together. Huge congratulations to Ebadaur Rahman and his Nujum sports team for winning the event. A key part of our mission is to continue to support Muslim players, coaches, referees and administrators within the County who want to participate in football."
Chair of Frenford, Yashmin Harun added: “It was a privilege to witness the first LFA iftar event in collaboration with Fulham Foundation and Nujum sports.
"The Ramadan Football festival was a significant event because it brought together people from different cultures and backgrounds and celebrated the diversity of football in London.
"I hope this initiative will grow and further unite the footballing community.”
London FA thank Fulham FC for their incredible hospitality, and Nujum Sports for providing education on the Islamic faith.
Ramadan Mubarak to all our Muslim colleagues, friends, and participants. Best wishes for the holy month of Ramadan.
If you wish to learn more about Ramadan and ensure your club or team is inclusive and supporting The FA’s For All ethos, please click the button below.
Ramadan 2023 Guidance Notes for football
If you have any further questions, please contact our Equality, Inclusion, and Diversity Officer Conor McBrearty at Conor.McBrearty@LondonFA.com
Article written by Estella Dawson (London FA Youth Council Member)
Meet more of the London FA Youth Council here.