Last Saturday, a UK based non-profit organisation, Nujum Sports, has called out for the ‘Muslim Athletes Charter’ in the country to educate the people about religious and cultural diversity and has asked football clubs in the UK to encourage this initiative.
The non-profit sports organisation thought of this initiative after Chennai Super Kings and England all-rounder Moeen Ali had a sponsorship patch on his jersey that could be visibly seen. The player decided not to promote the name of the alcohol brand on his jersey this decision made by him was respected by the team.
While talking to The Indian Express, founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nujum Sports Ebadur Rahman reveals that, “Moeen played in the IPL and we saw his franchise taking off a sponsor that he didn’t want. He didn’t ask for it, but they did it anyway. That’s the awareness we want.”
He also said that the idea for this charter came into his mind a few months ago and his organisation openly supports Muslim athletes present in the UK.
Five Premier League clubs have agreed to join this charter and these clubs have welcomed this initiative with open arms. Brentford and Watford, and 15 teams in the second division English Championship have been roped in.
Muslims are the second-largest faith in the UK and according to Business Insider, there are 70 Muslim players in Premier League and around 250 in all the English clubs around the country. The basic crux of this charter is to provide 10 points to the clubs that have welcomed more Muslim athletes in their teams. The also includes non-consumption of alcohol (prohibited by Islamic law) and also provide a safe space for Muslim players to pray at the training ground or the stadium and also to allow them to visit mosques on Fridays when not playing/training. The organisation also wants the players to be allowed to fast during the holy month of Ramadan.
In Sweden, a sixth division team FK Cosmos has also accepted this charter. Rahman also mentioned that they are in talks with England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and also an English county team for the same.
The organisation is very much delighted to see so much support coming in from the Premier League clubs. Rahman also said that he was very much pleased to see non-alcoholic champagne has been presented to winners after the FA Cup and League Cup (Carabao Cup) finals.
Muslim players like Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and Liverpool FC’s Mohamed Salah have a huge fan following in the UK and have helped in changing the perception of their religion in the country.