Chelsea will become the first Premier League club to host the first-ever Open Iftar, an initiative that seeks to convene Muslim communities and the squad’s staff to break the fast together during the holy month of Ramadan. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Chelsea will be making history tomorrow by hosting an Open Iftar at Stamford Bridge, becoming the first English Premier League club to do so.

Open Iftar is the largest community event during Ramadan, allowing Muslims observing the fast to come together and break bread.

This event also provides a safe space for mutual dialogue and engagement, and as such, a number of local mosques, Chelsea FC staff, and members of Chelsea’s Muslim community, including supporters and school students, will be invited to attend.

Understanding Ramadan

The Open Iftar event will be run in partnership with the Ramadan Tent Project, a charity established in 2013 that aims to bring communities together and develop understanding of Ramadan. This year, Ramadan Tent Project is celebrating their 10-year anniversary, and they organise the annual Ramadan Festival, a celebration of art, culture, and creativity inspired by the holy month of Ramadan.

Omar Salha, founder and CEO of the Ramadan Tent Project, expressed his gratitude, saying, “We are honoured 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.”

Religious tolerance

The No To Hate campaign, a club-wide equality, diversity, and inclusion programme that targets hate and discrimination, will recognise Ramadan at Chelsea FC and Chelsea Foundation. The campaign aims to educate all stakeholders inside and outside of Chelsea FC and football and promoting religious tolerance is one of its key focus areas. The No To Hate campaign also highlights other religious festivals throughout the calendar year.

Simon Taylor, head of Chelsea Foundation, expressed his excitement for the event, saying, “Recognising Ramadan and our Muslim community is a crucial aspect of our work in promoting religious tolerance, and we are extremely proud to be the first Premier League club to host an Open Iftar event. I look forward to welcoming everyone on Sunday 26 March.”