English Premier League club Chelsea will host the first-ever fast-breaking or iftar meal at Stamford Bridge on March 26.
The announcement, made on Monday on the club’s website, said the iftar is part of Ramadan fasting month which takes place from Wednesday 22 March until Friday 21 April.
“On Sunday 26 March, Chelsea Foundation will host an Open Iftar at the side of the pitch at Stamford Bridge, in what will be a first for the club and a Premier League stadium,” the London club said Monday in a statement.
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“A number of local mosques and members of Chelsea’s Muslim community such as supporters and school students will be invited to attend, along with Chelsea FC staff,” the club said.
Chelsea Foundation head Simon Taylor said they are “delighted” to organize an open iftar.
“I’m delighted to announce our Open Iftar alongside the Ramadan Tent Project and we are extremely proud to be the first Premier League club to be doing so,” he said.
“Recognizing Ramadan and our Muslim community is a crucial aspect of our work in promoting religious tolerance and I look forward to welcoming everyone on Sunday 26 March.”
Ramadan Tent Project
The Open Iftar will be run in collaboration with the Ramadan Tent Project, an award-winning charity established in 2013 with a mission of bringing communities together and developing the understanding of Ramadan.
“For the past decade Ramadan Tent Project has connected and convened over half-a-million people from all backgrounds through its annual Ramadan Festival and flagship initiative Open Iftar,” Omar Salha, founder and CEO of the Ramadan Tent Project, said.
“We are honored to bring Open Iftar to Stamford Bridge, on the occasion of our 10-year anniversary and our 2023 theme of “Belonging”, and work in partnership with Chelsea FC who have been driving inclusivity in football. To such an extent, the “Pride of London” will be the first Premier League club in history to host an Open Iftar event.
“Football and Ramadan brings people together over shared experiences and we are thrilled to share this important celebration with football supporters from all backgrounds, representing a community of communities.”
In 2021, Chelsea launched a “No To Hate” campaign as the club took action against racism, hate speech and discrimination but promoted equality, diversity and inclusion.
Chelsea FC isn’t the first English club to open its ground for Muslims.
In the past couple of years, Blackburn Rovers F.C. invited Muslim families several times to gather for `Eid Al-Adha prayer at Ewood Park.