A Blackburn-based football club has invited its Muslim fans wishing to perform evening prayer to use prayer facilities at its stadium, a gesture widely welcomed on social media.
“Any Muslim supporters attending tonight’s game against Morecambe who need to pray their Maghrib Salaah during the second half, please ask your closest steward who will direct you to our multi-faith room in the Blackburn End,” the Blackburn Rovers said in a post on Tuesday, August 10, Asian Image reported.
The invitation came ahead their first evening game of the season against Morecambe in the Carabao Cup.
The prayer room opened at Ewood Park in 2018 to provide existing staff and supporters with a quiet space for prayer and reflection.
Muslims pray five times a day, with each prayer made up of a series of postures and movements, each set of which is called a rak‘ah.
The five prayer times are divided all through the day which starts with Fajr prayer at dawn.
The club’s nice gesture was widely welcomed on social media.
“What a club! Exactly right, encouraging positivity. If we can get the Muslim community involved with Rovers we will pack the ground out! In any case we are one religion – Rovers!” Twitter user Jonathan said.
Abdul Ahmad said: “Brilliant stuff well done Rovers.”
The Liverpool way posted: “Liverpool fan, but that’s a class gesture from Rovers. Fair play.”
Aweis added: “What a club, I reckon a trip to Ewood park is due.”
Amol said: “Blackburn are now my championship team.”
Huda said: “What a wonderful way to show solidarity and belonging .. thank you.”
From seating, catering, retail and toilet facilities, conditions at Premier League stadiums have improved over the past few years.
The growing number of Muslim players has led to greater understanding and willingness on the part of Premier League clubs and fans to accommodate players’ religious needs. The league now employs a Muslim chaplain and some clubs have dedicated prayer rooms.
In 2015, the Guardian sent out a brief questionnaire to all 20 Premier League clubs to ascertain if their stadiums have Muslim or multifaith fans’ prayer rooms, or propose to have in future.
Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Everton, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur confirmed they do have stadium multifaith prayer facilities.
Newcastle, Sunderland, Swansea City, Bournemouth, Norwich City, and Watford, confirmed they were happy to accommodate fans should they make matchday prayer requests.