By Zuhal Demirci
LONDON (AA) - English Premier League club Chelsea on Sunday hosted their first-ever Open Iftar, a community event during Ramadan in the UK, at home stadium Stamford Bridge.
Hundreds of people gathered in the West London ground to have iftar, or fast-breaking meal. The event was held in collaboration between Chelsea Foundation, the club's charitable arm, and Ramadan Tent Project, an award-winning charity founded in 2013.
The evening, a first for the club and a Premier League stadium, started with brief speeches, followed by prayers by Imam Safwaan Hussein from Battersea Mosque.
Chelsea Foundation head Simon Taylor, Board Director of the foundation Lord Daniel Finkelstein, Islamic Relief’s UK Director Tufail Hussain, and Dowshan Humzah, advisory board member of the Ramadan Tent Project were among the attendees.
Paul Canoville, who was the first Black player to play for Chelsea, also attended the event.
Speaking to Anadolu, Omar Salha, the founder of Ramadan Tent Project, said they are aiming to bring people together and make them understand more about the holy month.
"Football unites people, but also Ramadan unites people and Open Iftar turns strangers into friends," he said, adding that at such events people of different ages and faiths meet.
The project also organized another fast-breaking meal gathering at the famous Victoria and Albert Museum in London on Friday, which was attended by more than 400 people.
The organizers thanked all those who attended the dinner, saying: "10 years of Open Iftar and we were so pleased to make history by having it take place pitch-side at Chelsea. Thank you to all those who attended, our speakers, sponsors and hardworking volunteers who made this iftar historic."