Midnight football league in Rotherham helping Muslims stay active during Ramadan

• Video report by Arif Ahmed A late-night football league has been launched in Rotherham to allow Muslims fasting for Ramadan to compete in a safe environment.The Ramadan Midnight League was set up by Rotherham United and gives Muslims chance to exercise during the holy month. The five-a-side league is free to enter and runs between 11pm and 1am at Rotherham Indoor Football Centre every Friday during Ramadan.

Muslims are expected to fast during the hours of daylight throughout Ramadan and pray in the evening, making it difficult to keep active in a safe way.

But the league is open to people from all backgrounds and has been praised for bringing the community together.

Player Hasan Bhatti said: "It's just something to do. It gets the community involved. It gets everyone together. I think it's just beautiful."

The league has brought together people from a range of backgrounds in Rotherham. Credit: ITV News

Fellow participant Moussa Diouf said: "It shows what Rotherham as a community is about. Ramadan, for us, is about sharing good vibes, peace and sharing what our religion is all about but at the same time having a sense of community where you've got different people from different walks of life and different environments that all come together and obviously it's football and football brings people together."

Gavin Worboys, who is not Muslim but joined the league, said: "We can learn from everybody. Different teams bring different things to this tournament and that's what it's all about. Everyone getting on, everyone learning and everyone having a smile on their face."Anthony Bayou, from the Rotherham United Community Trust, said the club was keen to engage with its diverse communities.

He said: "We believe Rotherham, as a football club, it's not a Manchester United, it's not a Chelsea, it's not at the top of the Premier League, but what it can offer is opportunities for young people and Rotherham communities - no matter what background you come from - to get involved in something positive, healthy and active."

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