MAKKAH – The Muslim members of Ghana national football team arrived Sunday in Saudi Arabia to perform umrah, or mini-hajj, and ask for Allah’s blessings.
The group of seven players was accompanied by the Ghana FA President Kwesi Nyantakyi, who was performing Umrah for the second time, Modern Ghana reported on Sunday, October 8.
Ghana deputy coach Ibrahim Tanko, Communication Director Ibrahim Sannie Daara and Welfare Officer Ishmail Hamidu were part of those who performed the Umrah.
Newly invited players Kassim Nuhu and Abass Mohammed, as well as Lumor Agbenyenu, also performed their religious requirement.
The Black Stars left Uganda on Sunday to Jeddah after the 0-0 stalemate with the Cranes in the 2018 World Cup qualifier on Saturday.
Umrah is a minor pilgrimage to Makkah that is performed by Muslims at any time of the year, in contrast to the Hajj.
The word Umrah in Arabic language means “to visit a populated place.” In Islamic Sharia, Umrah means performing Tawaf around the Kaa`ba and Sa`i between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah, after assuming Ihram (a sacred state), either from a Miqat.
According to official figures, the Saudi authorities issued 6.4 million visas for Umrah last year.
The figure was 7% higher than 2015 when about six million visas were given. Saudi governmental data shows that Egyptians topped the list in 2016 with 1,303,067 visas with a 17% increase in comparison to 2015.