The Midnight Ramadan League returns this Ramadan for the fifth year. But there’s a big difference – there’s no limit to the number of people who can get involved or come to watch.
During Ramadan, Muslims around the world fast from sunrise to sunset. This is where they abstain from food, water, and sexual activity for about 29-30 days.
While many Muslims are finding ways to stay active during the Islamic month, Saltley Stallions FC are offering a free Ramadan Midnight League giving young Muslims the chance to play football during the holy month.
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Saltely Stallions FC is an amateur football club based in Saltley, Birmingham. Obayed Hussain is the founder of the club and hosts the league to support the mental health and fitness of Muslims during Ramadan, including women’s tournaments.
The club offers matches that start every weekend for four weeks after players break their fast with the evening meal called Iftar to replenish their energy.
After its debut in 2018, the club has become a Ramadan tradition encouraging physical activity during the holy month and bringing people from all walks of life to share their love of football.
Last year was the first time the Midnight Ramadan league was outdoors since the pandemic, but there were still restrictions on the number of spectators. But this year, there are no restrictions on the number of participants and spectators at the matches.
Obayed told BirminghamLive: “This year, like last year, football will be outdoors and we are working in partnership with West Midlands Police and Birmingham City Council. But most importantly, the biggest difference is that there will be no restrictions on the number of people who want to be spectators or participate.
“Last year we had to limit the number of people involved in the tournament, such as participants and spectators.
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“We have had a really positive impact and we have over 600 young adults playing football in a peaceful yet competitive environment. The BAME community has been one of the hardest hit communities giving them a platform to start from scratch. It’s good to see a lot of people coming together.”
The league has been incredibly successful over the years, giving over 300 players the opportunity to play football and support local young people from disadvantaged communities in Birmingham city centre. There will also be the Women’s Midnight Ramadan League hosted by the Saltley Stallions Women’s Football Club which was launched in 2019.
The program takes place on Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The women’s league was created by Yasmin Nessa, co-founder of the Saltley Women’s Football Club, which empowers young Muslim women to break down cultural and religious barriers and get involved in sport.
Mr Hussain said: “We have organized a separate session on Wednesdays as it will allow the girls to play safely and give them a chance to stay fit and healthy during the month of Ramadan. Boys and girls have the opportunity to get involved.”
If you would like to register, visit the Saltley Stallions website here
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