Bridging a football gap

Close to a hundred South Asian women watched the Hatters win on Saturday
Close to a hundred South Asian women watched the Hatters win on Saturday

A pilot project to introduce South Asian women to Luton Town Football Club was a ‘complete success’, according to its founder.

The scheme, From Headscarves to Football Scarves, saw close to 100 women invited to watch the Hatters triumph over Chester City on Saturday at Kenilworth Road- the first time many of the group had been to a football game.

The project came together after two months of planning between the club, community groups and Luton Sixth Form College’s student development adviser Butch Fazal.

The group wore t-shirts sponsored by Beds Fire and Rescue with the initials for ‘Come On You Hatters’ as they watched John Still’s men win 3-0.

Mr Fazal, who is also the chair of National Asians in Football Forum, said that the project was put together to tackle ‘misconceptions on both sides’.

He said: “We knew that there would be a lot of apprehension but none of the problems we thought we would have actually came up.

“The club is situated right in the heart of the South Asian community but there is still a gap to bridge with supporters and residents there.”

Mr Fazal added his admiration for the club and supporters who were seated close to the group.

He said: “All of the girls really enjoyed themselves and there was a fantastic atmosphere. Fans around us in Block G were teaching the girls some of the chants which was great to see.”

Sixth Form College student Sabeera Dar added: “Projects like this boost social integration in a wonderful way.”