Fans for Diversity: Understanding fasting

Fasting Event Collage

Fans for Diversity campaign manager Anwar Uddin was at an event in Bradford recently which looked at increasing Asian participation in football and the impact of Ramadan. Here, he tells us more about the evening…

Last week, together with FSF-affiliates the Bangla Bantams, we met around 50 people from Bradford and Leeds – including members of the county FA, police and supporter groups.

As it’s the holy month of Ramadan, most of the Bangla Bantams supporter group have been fasting from dawn to sunset. So at 9.45pm they came together to share a meal with everyone attending the event to celebrate Iftar, the breaking of the fast.

This year, Ramadan runs from mid-June to mid-July making the duration of the daily fast Britain more than 15 hours. This represents a real test to Muslims taking part in the fast.

Fasting around football, whether playing or watching, is one of the challenges of being a football fan and practising Muslim. Non-Muslim fans who attended the event got a real insight into Ramadan on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year.

Humayun Islam, co-founder of the Bangla Bantams, spoke to the audience about football and fasting, providing an overview of Ramadan, explaining why it’s observed and the impact it has on football.

The evening concluded with a well-deserved meal and drink, giving fans the opportunity to network and share their experiences of the day - we rounded the day off with a ‘Young vs Old’ football at 1am (which us oldies won!).

Hopefully everyone went away with a greater understanding of how fasting can affect individuals, fans and the players we all adore from the terraces every week.

Everyone from Bradford, Leeds and Huddersfield area, Muslims and non-Muslims alike got involved to enhance their understanding of Ramadan. That’s what football’s all about - bringing people together.