The Professional Footballers’ Association and Pompey in the Community (PITC) hosted an Iftar (breaking of the ‘Fast’ during Ramadan) event at the PFA/ULF supported PITC study centre on 5 June.

The event was attended by more than 120 guests from a cross section of the community, including Muslims, Christians, Jews and Sikhs, and raised £900 for PITC through donations from attendees who paid to enter a raffle to win a Mo Salah shirt.

The month of Ramadan is a period of fasting, sacrifice, giving, piousness and self-training with the hope these qualities will extend beyond this month and stay with individuals throughout the year. Ramadan started on 17 May and lasts for 29 or 30 days, based on the sighing of the cresent moon, and involves Muslims abstaining from food and drink from sunrise to sunset.

Faz Ahmed, a Trustee of PITC and co-owner of The Akash restaurant, who catered for the event, said: “We are the first club to do something like this with the PFA which is a huge honour. Portsmouth is an incredibly diverse city and the more we can do to not only support that community, but bring people together, is really important.

“Without the support of the PFA the Iftar event would not have been possible and I’m pleased we were able to hold such an event in Portsmouth.”

Director of Pompey in the Community, Clare Martin, added: "The PFA’s Riz Rehman came to us a few months back and asked if we would be interested in doing such an event and it was an idea that we couldn’t say no to. It’s great to give a bit more understanding with things like this and you have got to respect those who take part in Ramadan because it is an amazing sacrifice for their religion.”

The PFA’s Riz Rehman, who helped organise the event, said: “It was great to have over 120 people here to share in the Iftar, raise awareness around Ramadan, as well as give everyone the opportunity to learn more about the great work that the PITC deliver.

“For most people it would’ve been their first time to the club and I’m positive that after tonight they will want to come back and get involved. I have had enquiries from clubs across the country who have also shown an interest to host an Iftar event, and after the success of tonight I’m confident we will be able to facilitate more next year at various clubs.”

Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, added: “Events like this are really important because we need to do all we can to build relationships between the different communities in the city. It makes this club become everyone’s club, which is great.”

Originally published on The PFA's website.