Search Website

Arsenal FC brings young Muslim and Jewish girls together to play football in celebration of the Women’s world cup

Arsenal FC brings young Muslim and Jewish girls together to play football in celebration of the Women’s world cup


United by a shared love of football, the interfaith event hoped to “build bridges and open doors”.  

The women’s world cup kicked off on the 20th July in Australia and New Zealand, and the rising popularity of women’s sport has been inspiring for young girls all across the globe, particularly in the home of football, England. 

In the build-up to the exciting tournament, Arsenal Emirates Stadium invited Muslim and Jewish school girls to play together, with the aim of building deeper understandings of different communities through sports. 

School girls entering Arsenal Stadium for interfaith event. Photography: Shaheena Uddin

On Wednesday 7th June, 30 Young women, ages 13 and 14, from Jewish and Muslim faith schools in London met for the first time.  

They learnt the importance of equality, diversity, and inclusion in football in a workshop led by the Professional Footballers’ Association. Later girls from both communities played football side-by-side on the Arsenal Community Hub pitch, where they were trained by Arsenal’s female coaches. 

Young Muslim and Jewish girls teamed up in a friendly game of football. Photography: Shaheena Uddin

The event was organised by Faiths Forum – a London network of faith communities who bring “people of all ages together across faith divides in partnership to increase faith literacy, biodiversity and civic responsibility”. 

Aliya Azam, Head of Science at Al-Sadiq and Al-Zahra Schools, and one of the organisers of the day, said: “Playing together is a great way to break down barriers. Events like the World Cup can bind people together who might not normally meet and mix. This day opens the door to a deeper understanding for our girls of their Jewish peers, and that’s vitally important in countering the negative stories out there.” 

Two girls from different faiths and schools come together for football. Photography: Shaheena Uddin

Rukaya Hussain, programme manager from Faith Forum for London said: “Though London is one of the most diverse cities in the world, conflicts around the world can degrade the level of trust between communities. So it’s very important that we teach our young people how to live together, play together, and break glass-ceilings together, this day at Arsenal is the start of this journey.”  

 Simone Pound, Director of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion, Professional Footballers’ Association, said: “Working together as a team despite differences in faith, nationality and ethnicity is what footballers do to be a successful squad. As the players union we are proud of the inclusivity and diversity of our membership. We hope we can help to encourage and celebrate inter-faith engagement by playing our part in this exciting event.”  

Arsenal Stadium conference room. Photography: Shaheena Uddin

Football is a fantastic opportunity to bring communities together especially in the buildup to the highly anticipated final of the Women’s world cup to be held on the 20th August. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *