LONDON: The Football Association of Wales has become the first footballing body to adopt a charter that recognizes the specific needs of Muslim athletes, staff, and fans of the game.
Proposed by Nujum Sports, the Muslim Athlete Charter aims to encourage clubs and governing bodies to commit to “equality and diversity for all.”
Ebadur Rahman, the founder of Nujum Sports, told Arab News that there were now 34 professional sporting clubs signed up to the charter, including six English Premier League and 22 Football League clubs.
He said: “It’s a great day for Muslims living in Great Britain, and I think it shows how far we’ve come as a nation. We hope it encourages greater participation from Muslims in Wales in football, specifically, and fans as well. I hope this is the beginning of something even greater.”
And Rahman revealed that talks were already taking place with rugby, cricket, archery, and athletics associations and bodies about adoption of the charter.
The FAW’s equality, diversity, inclusion, and integrity manager, Jason Webber, told BBC Sport: “By utilizing the Muslim Athlete Charter framework and working closely with Nujum Sports, we will ensure that Muslim players are supported in their environment to practice their faith while playing football.
“Someone’s religion and belief should not be a barrier, and everyone should be supported within an inclusive environment so they can be themselves.
“We believe that football is a place where everyone should feel that they belong and signing the charter moves us closer to achieving this vision,” he added.