Muslim Players at Premier League Clubs

 Muslim Players at Premier League Clubs

Ahead of Ramadan, which begins on June 18, the Daily Mirror took a look at the Premier League’s Muslim players and found that there are only a few in England’s top football league. The Mirror identified six Muslim players currently playing in the Premier League, out of over 700 players total. Some Muslim players don’t participate in matches or trainings during Ramadan because they fast from dawn to sunset, but each player must make their own decisions about how to reconcile their religion with their sport. Here are some of the Muslim players currently in the Premier League, along with their views on fasting during Ramadan.

All 20 Premier League teams, ranked by Muslims

West Ham United have six Muslim players in their squad, while Hull City, Burnley and Leicester City all have five. This is a simple breakdown of Muslim players across all 20 Premier League teams, ranked by number of Muslims at each club. Most top flight clubs have one or two Muslim players among their ranks - but West Ham lead the way with six. Hull have a total of five followed by Burnley with four and Leicester City with three. Aston Villa are currently bottom of Muslim representation in 2015/16 though as they don't have any members of their squad who practise Islam for religious reasons. This is likely to change next season when Jordan Ayew joins from Lorient in France on a free transfer.

Brighton and Hove Albion

The sole Muslim player in England’s top flight is Brighton and Hove Albion striker Tomer Hemed. He became an Israeli citizen before joining Hapoel Tel Aviv, but returned to Israel with Beitar Jerusalem before moving to Brighton in 2016. (Jerusalem Post)

Crystal Palace

Mamadou Sakho - Muslim. Kolo Toure - Muslim. Manchester City: Bacary Sagna - Muslim. Arsenal: Mohamed Elneny - Muslim. Leicester City: Riyad Mahrez - Muslim (Algerian). Newcastle United: Moussa Sissoko - African footballer who is a practicing muslim, Islam Slimani-Algerian striker,Islam Slimani-Algerian striker.

Leicester City

Islam Slimani is a Muslim footballer who joined Leicester City from Sporting CP in 2016. He has played 12 games so far, scoring two goals.

Manchester City

Tosin Adarabioyo, Enes Unal and Seko Fofana all wear hijab on match day. Manchester City Women players Stephanie Houghton, Toni Duggan and Izzy Christiansen wear a different hijab that matches their team kit. Other Muslim players in top flight football are: Yaya Toure (Man City), Cheikhou Kouyate (West Ham United), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Demba Ba (Besiktas) and Samir Nasri (released by Manchester City). Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford has worn a red #ICanHijab when playing for England U21s in recognition of women who choose to wear one while also playing sport.

Manchester United

Andrei Kanchelskis (defender) and Nani (forward) used to play for Manchester United until 2010. Nani was born in Portugal while Andrei Kanchelskis is a Russia-born professional footballer. In 2003, Gabriel Heinze joined up with Sir Alex Ferguson and soon became a regular starter in defense. Born in Argentina, he has made over 80 appearances for Argentina, scoring four goals. Starting goalkeeper of Manchester United Edwin van der Sar is a Dutch player who was born in Holland and moved to Utrecht when he was three years old. Another Dutch player named Ruud van Nistelrooy plays forward for Manchester United as well; he scored 150 goals during his time with the club.

Newcastle United

Dwight Gayle and Yasin Ben El-Mhanni are Muslim. Last week, two of Newcastle United’s Muslim players were absent from training and prayers to observe a Jummah (Friday) prayer service. As per club rules, Rafa Benitez was forced to fine them for their absence because they did not inform him in advance.

Stoke City

The British government’s special representative on football, Barry Bennell once said: If only Stoke City had taken my advice and signed more Muslims. They could have a laden lunch every Friday and they wouldn’t get all those injuries.

Swansea City

If there’s one club in England that can lay claim to being truly multicultural, it’s Swansea City. Manager Michael Laudrup has openly encouraged both Spanish and Danish players to join him in South Wales, while defender Ashley Williams is one of a number of Welshmen currently on their books. It doesn’t stop there either: They even have a few Muslim players, including former West Ham striker Leroy Lita and ex-Fulham man Marlon Harewood, who may not have scored many goals for their club but have already netted a couple for Team GB during London 2012.

Tottenham Hotspur

Adebayor (90); Kaboul (83), Assou-Ekotto (89), Caulker (81); Livermore (82), Huddlestone (80), Parker, Sandro; Lennon, Chadli; Soldado. Subs: Friedel, Naughton, Holtby, Fredericks, Vertonghen, Townsend. Not used: Cudicini.

Watford FC (AFC)

Abdoulaye Doucoure (France, Muslim) , Adalberto Peñaranda (Venezuela, Muslim) , Christian Kabasele (Democratic Republic of Congo, Muslim) , Issac Success (Nigeria, Muslim), Abdoulaye Doucouré FC Rennes: Salif Sané (Senegal, Muslim), Hicham Aidir*(Morocco, Muslim), M'Baye Niang*(Senegal.

West Bromwich Albion F.C. (WBA)

The West Bromwich Albion F.C., or The Baggies, is based in West Bromwich, United Kingdom. WBA is nicknamed The Baggies due to West Bromwich’s history as a center of leatherworking, and now soccer manufacturing. The team wears red-and-white striped shirts with white shorts and red socks.