Britain’s Newcastle United football team has created a special prayer room for its Muslim players at their stadium, reported the Daily Mirror on Thursday.
Seven members of the first team are devout followers of Islam and previously used various rooms in the stadium complex to perform their prayers before a game.
An insider said: “We believe we now have more Muslims in our first team squad than any other team in the Premier League, so it is important to look after them,” according to the Daily Mirror.
“They have been using various rooms at the ground to worship before games. Now they will get a proper prayer room.”
Seven first team stars – Papiss Cisse, Cheick Tiote, Hatem Ben Arfa, Massadio Haidara, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Moussa Sissoko and Mehdi Abeid- are practicing Muslims.
Former striker Demba Ba, who now plays for Chelsea, would routinely lead team-mates in prayer, stated the newspaper.
“Prayer has become an important part of the build up to big games,” the insider was quoted as saying.
“Demba was the most devout of all the players. He would regularly pray before big games, and be joined by team-mates. It helped build a bond between them.”