Marking South Asian Heritage Month with Asian role model stories

Friday 06 Aug 2021
Yan Dhanda is a midfielder for Championship side Swansea City

We have marked 2021 South Asian Heritage Month by releasing a content series highlighting positive stories from Asian participants across the game, with the aim of inspiring people within Asian communities to play a bigger part in English football on and off the pitch.
The six-part video series has proven to be a very successful campaign, featuring players, coaches and match officials of Asian heritage discussing their inspirational journeys to date. 

The campaign follows The FA’s update on its Asian inclusion strategy, Bringing Opportunities to Communities, which was shared earlier this year. Launched in 2019, the strategy aims to ensure more people from Asian communities are part of English football both on and off the pitch, focusing on five pillars: The FA and its culture; pathways; grassroots football; Asian women and girls; and community engagement.

The videos, many of which also feature England Senior Men’s manager Gareth Southgate, can be found below:

Episode one: featuring Maz Pacheco [West Ham United Women] and Yan Dhanda [Swansea City]

Episode two: featuring Hamza Choudhury [Leicester City] and Zidane Iqbal [Manchester United]

Episode three: featuring Layla Banaras [Birmingham City Women Academy]

Episode four: featuring Azeem Amir [Para Lions]

Episode five: featuring Sabrina Dale [UEFA B accredited coach] and Riteesh Mishra [Assistant Manager, Charlton Athletic Women]

Episode six: Featuring former referee Jarnail Singh and his sons Sunny and Bhups Gill, who are current match officials

The series was developed by Smoking Bear Productions in collaboration with award-winning British Asian filmmaker Rubika Shah, alongside producer Ed Gibbs. Early research and online interviews with key stakeholders were conducted in collaboration with BritAsia TV. 

We would also like to thank the many clubs, stakeholders and people involved with the series – full list below.

Director / Producer: Rubika Shah (Smoking Bear Productions)
Producers: Ed Gibbs
FA Producer: Dal Singh Darroch
Online interviews: BritAsia TV 
Music: Universal, Sukh Knight
Clubs: West Ham United, Swansea City, Manchester United, Leicester City, Birmingham City Women, Sporting Khalsa, Charlton Athletic
Research participants – current and former players: Asmita Ale [Aston Villa Women], Mal Benning [Port Vale], Jimmy Carter [ex-Liverpool and Arsenal], Simran Jhamat [Bristol City Women], Rosie Kmita [Watford Women], Adil Nabi [OFI Crete]
Research participants – others: Rupinder Bains [FA Board], Paul Elliott [FA Inclusion Advisory Board Chair], Dr Aisha Ahmed, Jas Bains, Jas Batt, Shafique Govani, Yashmin Harun, Arun Kang, Dr Dan Kilvington, Alan Lau, Kalam Mooniaruck [West Ham United], Dr Aarti Ratna, Chris Ramsey [QPR], Riz Rehman, Yousuf Sajjad [Arsenal FC], Robina Shah, Manisha Tailor [QPR]
A special thank you to: England Senior Men’s Manager Gareth Southgate and England Senior Women’s players Nikita Parris and Demi Stokes

To get in touch with us, please email

To view episodes from Season Two of Football & Me, please CLICK HERE

By FA Staff