News in the local press today that Newcastle manager Alan Pardew wants to open a prayer room at St James’ Park.
Ba and Cisse in prayer position against Aston Villa
Newcastle have a number of Muslims in their ranks at the moment, including Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba, Ben Arfa and Cheick Tiote, and it may be that some of the players have gone to the manager and asked him for a prayer room, but that’s just a supposition.
This is what Alan told the local press today:
“It is something I have discussed with club secretary Lee Charnley as I think it is important.” “We look after the players here and their religious backgrounds.”
“Even at the stadium, it is not ideal. It is something we are looking at.” “Religion plays a very important role for some of our players.”
“You have to respect that – Hatem, Demba and Cheick are a different religion to most footballers in this country.” “We need different facilities for them.”
Pardew is one of the best man-managers in the game today, and this move by him is not too surprising, if it’s what his players need to feel right at home.
And Newcastle will also be sending out a strong message about Alan and Newcastle United, that the club goes out of their way to make foreign players feel at home on Tyneside.
There could also be a prayer room installed at the Benton Training grounds – and hey – we are all for this – if it makes the Newcastle players feel more comfortable at the club.
And of course we have seen both Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba get into the Muslim Prayer position after scoring for Newcastle, as shown in the photo above.
We see nothing wrong with this – and will only put Newcastle in a very good light.
What do you think?