By Sarah Townsend
Fan tweeted picture of Muslim fans praying with a hashtag #Disgrace
A British football fan has sparked a row after tweeting a picture of two Muslims praying at a Premier League match and labelling it as a disgrace.
Liverpool FC has vowed to take “appropriate action” against the fan, named as Stephen Dodd by the Daily Mail newspaper.
Dodd, whose Twitter account is “protected” and therefore only available to his followers, reportedly tweeted a picture of Asif Bodi and Abubakar Bhula worshipping on their knees in a stairwell of Liverpool’s Anfield ground during the FA Cup match between Liverpool FC and Blackburn Rovers last month.
Dodd added the caption: “Muslims praying at half-time at the match yesterday #DISGRACE.”
His tweet, which prompted public outrage on social media, was reported to the police but they are understood to have decided no criminal offence has taken place and referred the matter back to the club.
The Daily Mail quoted Bodi, a solicitor from Preston, as saying it was not the first time he had prayed at a match. “It only takes a few minutes and this time it was during half-time that we needed to pray,” he told the newspaper.
“We have a small window in which to pray. 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.”
Bodi reportedly added: “But this guy wasn’t abusive to us and the support since has been very nice, I’m thankful.”
Liverpool FC said it would not tolerate discrimation at the club and has pledged to take “appropriate” action against Dodd. If he is a season ticket holder he could have this revoked, or be banned from future matches.
Meanwhile, the newspaper reported that campaigners have called for football clubs to install prayer rooms at stadiums so that Muslim fans can pray in peace and avoid any Islamophobic abuse.For all the latest lifestyle news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
sad to see that anyone in this day and age could object to such a peaceful act. Equally sad to say, it's not surprising.
I think we need to be careful here....very careful....... not to infringe peoples right to an opinion. What was tweeted may not be to everyone's taste but it was not violent, was not inciting violence, was not blasphemous, rude, did not contain swearwords and was only sent to his immediate contacts. It was not a general broadcast but an expression of his opinion to his friends, which he is absolutely entitled to do. Whether it was wise or prudent to state such an opinion in writing is one thing but it is his right to have this opinion and the football club needs to tread very carefully in taking any action against this man. They must not punish him for his opinion - that would be totally wrong - but they have a right to punish him for tweeting it if they feel such an action goes against their moral codes.
Boycott liverpoll FC if they will take any action