Over 300 guests welcomed to Wembley for annual Iftar event

Thursday 04 Apr 2024

Over 300 guests were welcomed to Wembley to mark Ramadan on Wednesday evening, with our annual Iftar taking place at the home of English football for the sixth time since 2019.

As part of our ongoing work with faith communities, the evening also featured Q&As and a panel discussion with special guests as well as a pitchside call to prayer before fast was broken.

Hosted by broadcaster and journalist Remona Aly, guests were welcomed via video messages from FA Chair Debbie Hewitt, the Rt. Hon Baroness Warsi, England manager Gareth Southgate and some of our Lionesses. 

An insightful panel discussion around ‘Faith and Football’

An in-person welcome was received from the FA’s director of equality, diversity and inclusion Yasir Mirza, before our first guest Toib Olomowewe, Chair of Trustees of the Ramadan Tent Project joined Remona onstage to talk about the FA’s long-standing relationship with the organisation, an award-winning charity that brings communities together and spreads the spirit of Ramadan through various initiatives.

We then welcomed Sahiba Majeed of the Muslim Sports Foundation, an organisation dedicated to empowering British Muslims through inclusive sport and physical activity to highlight the work of bringing more Muslim women into the game through their groundbreaking work with the FA.

A panel discussion around ‘Faith and Football’ then followed, featuring Yasir and head of diversity and inclusion strategic programmes Dal Darroch, Portsmouth FC first-team coach Zesh Rehman and Anisa Mahmood, founder of the Anti-Islamophobia Working Group.

Guests then headed pitchside at Wembley for the traditional call to prayer, which was led by Mohammad Faisal Asif of the Ramadan Tent Project before it was back indoors for Iftar as the fast was broken at sundown with food courtesy of Spice Village.

Mohammad Faisal Asif of the Ramadan Tent Project led the call to prayer.

“As the governing body of English football, we know the importance of connecting faith communities with our national sport, and we were delighted to welcome over 300 guests to Wembley Stadium to mark this significant date in the Muslim calendar,” said Yasir, after the event. 

“It was the first of many faith events that we will host this year, and we’re looking forward to continuing to bring people together throughout 2024 and beyond.”

To learn more about the FA’s work in faith and equality, diversity and inclusion, please visit our anti-discrimination and Asian inclusion pages.

By FA Staff