Sunday 26 March – Chelsea Foundation will host an Open Iftar pitch-side at Stamford Bridge, in what will be a first for the club and a Premier League stadium.
Simon Taylor, head of Chelsea Foundation, said: “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. Recognising 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.”
Omar Salha, founder and CEO of the Ramadan Tent Project, said: “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. The ‘Pride of London’ will be the first Premier League club in history to host our Open Iftar event.
Football and Ramadan bring people together over shared experiences and we are thrilled to partner with Chelsea for this important celebration with football supporters from all backgrounds, representing a community of communities.”
Dowshan Humzah, an Independent Board Director and a member of the Advisory Board for Ramadan Tent Project said: “Being a Chelsea fan, a member and season ticket holder for over 35 years – it fills me with immense pride to see Chelsea FC to host Open
Iftar(breaking of the fast) at Stamford Bridge, and alongside other football clubs and The FA partner with Ramadan Tent Project.
Faith and football have many similarities and cut across all population segments – providing a strong feeling of belonging and passion. Equally, they can unite and bring different people together over common experiences – in this case all folk, be they Muslim or not, fasting or not, of faith or not, Chelsea fan or not, football fan or not – breaking the fast, sharing a meal and conversation.
Indeed, Chelsea would have hosted our Open Iftar last year during Ramadan but were unable to given the circumstances then. True to their word, Chelsea FC and the Foundation, maintained their commitment and become the first Premiership football club (and most recent men’s Premiership Champions who have been European and, up until February 2023, World Club Cup Champions and the reigning women’s Super League Champions – ok I had to say that!) to partner and host an Open Iftar for all. Thank you.”
You can read more about this on the Chelsea FC website: “Chelsea FC to host first ever Open Iftar at Stamford Bridge“. This has generated significant coverage and positive sentiment showing the potential of football to work in partnership with other organisations and unite – as well as support the ‘No To Hate‘ and ‘Kick It Out‘ campaigns.
Furthermore, the Club have released a snippet of a Premier League video featuring central defender and captain of reigning Africa Cup of Nations Champions, Senegal, Kalidou Koulibaly and defender and France international, Wesley Fofana. The two players’ sentiment in the video resonates strongly with our mission at the Ramadan Tent Project of of ‘turning strangers into friends’ and building community cohesion.
In the space of just over 12 hours, Chelsea’s tweet announcing the Open Iftar event with the video of the players has generated over 5 million views, 45k likes, 12k retweets. While Wesley Fofana’s tweet, in less than 2 hours, has gathered 1.5 million views, 29k likes and 3k retweets.