Friday 15 December 2017

Muslim men branded 'disgrace' for praying at Anfield

Posted on Twitter, but later deleted it, the men praying were branded a 'disgrace' Credit: @stedoddnew
Posted on Twitter, but later deleted it, the men praying were branded a 'disgrace' Credit: @stedoddnew News Desk

Liverpool FC has said it will take action against a fan who allegedly called two Muslim men "a disgrace" for praying at Anfield.

Twitter user Stephen Dodd is at the centre of a storm over a picture of solicitors Asif Bodi and Abubakar Bhula worshipping during the half-time break as the Reds took on Blackburn Rovers on March 8.

The picture appeared to be sent from his account, with the caption: "Muslims praying at half time at the match yesterday #DISGRACE."  

In a statement, Liverpool FC said the club reported the tweet to Merseyside Police after receiving complaints.

"Merseyside Police investigated the matter and has referred this to LFC to take appropriate action against the individual involved," it added.

"The club is currently in the process of determining the appropriate action to take and a further update statement will be made in due course."

"Liverpool Football Club would like to remind its supporters that it does not tolerate any form of discrimination and is committed to ensuring that the club and Anfield provides a welcoming and safe environment for all fans regardless of race, religion, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation."  

The comment, later deleted, was met with widespread criticism from fans, with some describing Dodd as a "bigot".   

A man, who would only give his name as Mr Bodi, said his eight-year-old son Ayman can also be seen in the photo.

The 46-year-old, from Preston, said: "My little boy said at the time 'someone is taking a picture of us' and I thought maybe it was someone who hadn't seen prayers before."

"I certainly didn't expect to be called a disgrace for doing it. But the support since has been very nice and I'm thankful."   

Adding: "We have a small window in which to pray, a bit like the transfer window in football. Once that closes the chance has gone. That day, the time came for prayer and the window would have closed before the game finished so we did it at half-time."

"Most people are absolutely fine with it and the stewards at Anfield are wonderful, but it only takes one or two people to react in the wrong way and you could have a nasty situation."

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