Muslim athletes charter: Premier League clubs sign up to 'first of its kind' code

When Paul Pogba a short while ago taken off a bottle of Heineken from the desk at a news conference, it drew prevalent interest.

Consuming, marketing or promoting alcohol is forbidden in Islam and as a devout Muslim, Pogba could have felt the need to have to length himself from the condition, but should he have been put in that place in the initial spot?

“The the latest case in point of Paul Pogba hiding the beer bottle highlights the will need for education,” says Ebadur Rahman, founder and chief government of Nujum Sports.exterior-backlink

Saturday sees the official start of a historic “first of its type” Muslim athletes’ constitution – an concept devised by Rahman, who previously worked for the Soccer Association.

The charter seeks to “problem organisations” to make development in supporting Muslim sportsmen and females, with signatories pledging to “create favourable change”.

There are 10 details contained within the charter, these as non-use of alcohol, which includes during celebrations, the provision of suitable places to pray, halal meals, and currently being permitted to quick in Ramadan.

“Getting worked in sport, I am effectively aware of the complications currently being capable to practice my faith,” Rahman told BBC Activity.

“Immediately after talking extensively to athletes and golf equipment, we felt it was the suitable time to have a Muslim athlete charter in location in the British isles. We believe that it is the first and only a person of its sort.

“Clubs and organisations are signing up for a good motion of solidarity, equality and recognition of the contribution Muslims make at their respective golf equipment and teams.”

Leading League clubs endorse ‘exciting’ charter

Halil Dervisoglu and Gareth Bale
Brentford ahead Halil Dervisoglu showcased for Turkey at the European Championship

Nujum calculates there are about 250 Muslim gamers in the very first groups and academies across the prime four leagues of English football.

Of these, Manchester United’s Pogba, Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, and Chelsea’s Champions League-profitable N’Golo Kante and Antonio Rudiger are the optimum-profile gamers.

Even before its release, five Leading League clubs and a further 15 from the EFL have pledged to aid the constitution.

Campaigners Kick it Out and the Soccer Supporters’ Association have also offered their backing.

A Brentford spokesman advised BBC Sport: “Muslims are the next major religion community in the British isles and the speediest escalating, with all over 70 Muslim players at Leading League clubs.

“Aiding clubs to guidance all those players to be themselves the two at residence and at do the job is priceless. This constitution and the aid that goes with it is some thing that is required and will be welcomed by clubs.”

A Watford spokesperson claimed the club were being “enthusiastic” at continuing their partnership with Nujum, introducing: “We truly feel this constitution will be a huge advantage to us in the aid our 1st crew, women’s team and academy players.”

‘A gamechanger’

Ayoub Assal and Hawa Cissoko
Ayoub Assal and Hawa Cissoko each showcased 16 times for their golf equipment last year

Nujum supports athletes with working day-to-working day useful needs as effectively as on a religious foundation, and persons are presented access to Islamic students for any thoughts or help required on their religion.

The organisation also sent out present packs to all 92 clubs in the course of Ramadan, with receiver Ayoub Assal – a 19-calendar year-previous midfielder at League Just one side AFC Wimbledon – calling the constitution “a gamechanger”.

Assal, who scored four goals in 16 first-staff games in the course of his breakthrough marketing campaign last phrase, advised BBC Activity: “Being a Muslim, your way of living is distinctive. You have obligations like the 5 each day prayers inside a specific time frame, and there are some things you won’t be able to do like going out to drink.

“The charter will be extremely practical due to the fact it assures Muslim athletes what their legal rights are. They will get halal food items, they really don’t have to feel two times about heading to the canteen and wanting to know what to try to eat, which is extremely essential.

“Faith for us is extremely significant, it is even larger than this entire world that we are living in.”

West Ham midfielder Hawa Cissoko states she has been totally supported in her time at a club exactly where she is “liked”, but feels “a lot more content and a lot more robust” at currently being empowered by the charter.

“I come to feel now I have a local community that supports me, I don’t truly feel by yourself,” she explained to BBC Sport.

“Via Nujum I uncovered a pal in jockey Khadijah Mellah, and it is beneficial to know there are a lot of Muslim athletes that we can share our encounters with. It is pleasant to speak with folks on how they dwell and how they truly feel.

“Remaining a Muslim you have to deliver the proper concept to the persons. I am symbolizing absolutely everyone. When I am in the switching room, they you should not see me – they see all Muslims.

“I have to be a very good woman all the time and be the best I can be.”

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