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28 I SPORT Passion Islam I September 2008
Blackburn becomes first
Manchester
City becomes
Premier league team to
second Arab
install prayer facilities
owned club in
the Premier
Blackburn Rovers in north- of Lancashire Council of
west England have become Mosques, was quoted saying. League
the first Premiership football It was also warmly greeted
club to install a prayer room by Christians. “It is crucial
where supporters can worship inter- faith projects like this
in an effort to boost their match are allowed to succeed,” said
attendence. Dean Christopher Armstrong,
“We live in a diverse society of Blackburn Cathedral.
and need to accommodate the The sound-proofed match
needs of people from all walks day facility was said to contain
Manchester City became the
of life,” Blackburn’s managing prayer mats and religious
second Arab-owned football
director Tim Finn said. texts. Supporters who sit in in 1995.
club in the Premier League
The decision was also other sections of Ewood Park But their matches are
following its takeover by
welcomed by British Muslims, stadium will be also be able to among the least attended in
Abu Dhabi United Group
who make up more than access the room with escort by the Premier League for the
Investment and Development
20 per cent of the town’s stewards. size of their 31,367 stadium,
(ADUG).
total population of some Blackburn Rovers, one of averaging less than 24,000
ADUG claimed it
100,000, according to the Sun England’s oldest football club, last season.
completed the takeover of
newspaper. was established in 1875. Last Justice Minister and former
the north-west English club
“It’s a fantastic gesture. I am season, the team finished 7th foreign secretary Jack Straw
from controversial Thai owner
sure it will encourage more in the Premiership, and is the is among Blackburn’s most
Thaksin Shinawatra who
Muslims to attend,” Salim only side outside the ‘Big Four’ famous and avid supporters.
is fleeing an arrest warrant
Mulla, senior vice chairman to have won the league back
while on bail over corruption
charges in his home country.
The deal gave it “all
British Muslims congratulate
management rights” over
Manchester City, while the
former Thai prime minister
Team GB on Olympic success
would become honorary
president of the club
“without any administrative
The Muslim Council of Britain 2012 will not only put on a responsibilities,” it said.
(MCB) has felicitated team GB spectacular display of British The takeover comes
on its outstanding performance talent, traditions and values, after Egyptian businessman
in the Beijing Olympics and but also leave a lasting legacy Mohammed al-Fayed became
urged the British Muslims to to all Londoners, the whole the first Arab owner when
take active part in London country and indeed the world”. he bought London’s oldest
2012 Games. He said the 2012 Games professional club, Fulham
“The Muslim Council of will be a wonderful opportunity back in 1997.
Britain pays full tribute to all for the rest of the country to
The PL has no restrictions
the British athletes for their celebrate British talent and
on club ownership, with eight
spectacular performance and inspire others.
of the 20 clubs in foreign
achievements during the 2008 Commenting on the
hands, although any director
Beijing Olympics,” the MCB Beijing Olympics, Mujibul
can be
Secretary-General Dr.Abdul Islam, chairman of MCB’s
automatically disqualified if
Bari said in a statement. Youth Committee said “the
they are convicted of a listed
The British squad finished performance of British athletes
participate in London 2012,
offense.
fourth on the medals list with a over the past two weeks has
not only in the sports, but also
Currently, three clubs
haul of 19 gold medals, its best simply been phenomenal.
through volunteering in the
are under American control,
performance in over 100 years Beijing has illustrated to all
myriad of supporting activities
Manchester United, Liverpool
of Olympics movement. of us that extra investment
that will take place.
and Aston Villa, followed by
“Our focus is now towards in sports eventually pays
The MCB also called
two under Russian ownership,
London to carry the Olympic dividends.
upon the Muslim community
Chelsea and Portsmouth.
flag. London won the games The MCB who played a
to join victory parade which
Apart from Manchester
on the basis of youth and significant role in campaigning
the Mayor of London Boris
City and Fulham, the other
regeneration and I hope that for London to host the 2012
Johnson is hosting through
club in foreign hands is West
this will not be forgotten in games back in 2005, hoped
Central London on October
Ham, owned by an Icelandic
the lead up to 2012.” Dr Bari that all young people, including
16 to celebrate Team GB’s
consortium headed by Eggert
said. “I am sure that London young British Muslims, will fully
unprecedented medals haul.
Magnusson.
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