Luton Town Football Club welcome South Asian women

Asian women walking to Kenilworth Road football ground The new supporters walked as a group to Luton's Kenilworth Road stadium

Related Stories

About 100 women from the South Asian community attended a football match - a first for most of them.

From Headscarves to Football Scarves is the brainchild of Butch Fazal, of the National Asians in Football Forum.

The predominantly Muslim women watched Luton Town host Chester on Saturday.

Mr Fazal said there was a "lack of provision and opportunities for South Asian women not only to participate, but also watch" football.

"This community is underrepresented in sport and we're hoping to address that," he said.

General view of Kenilworth Road stadium Many of the women have never seen a live football match before

Mr Fazal's project has the backing of Luton Town Football Club, which he said had "worked very hard over a number of years to develop a good relationship with the community".

He put notices about his plans in local football clubs, community centres and mosques.

'Really welcoming'

Some students from Luton Sixth Form College, where Mr Fazal is a student development adviser, also took part.

"Some mothers I spoke to were a little concerned about allowing their daughters to attend a match, so I extended the invitation to them," he said.

"If you ask the South Asian community what it's like to be in a football stadium, the majority of them don't know, and what they do know is only what they've heard in the past."

Women in headscarves watching Luton play Chester Luton's new fans were treated to a 3-0 win for the home side over Chester

Nadia Gulfraz, who is training to be a football coach, said by taking part she hoped to inspire more women to attend matches.

"It's just the fact that they're a little bit worried about the reaction that we might get from the public," she said.

"Just looking at us and perceiving that 'why are Asian women here?' That's the whole point of us doing it today.

"To say they are able to go to these matches, and it's not something out of the ordinary."

After the match one of the new fans said Luton's supporters were "really welcoming and made us feel part of the group... we didn't expect that to happen.

"It felt good being together, really united. We were all cheering for one team."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Beds, Herts & Bucks

Weather

Luton

2 °C 0 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Abdi Nor IftinGolden ticket

    How a refugee entered a lottery and won a new life in the US


  • Herring in a fur coatMerry herring

    How fish 'in a fur coat' is enough to make Russia's New Year happy


  • Curiosity Self Portrait at Windjana Drilling SiteIn pictures

    The most stunning space photos of the year


  • Amy Adams, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock and Dame Judi DenchFilm quiz of 2014

    How much do you remember about the past 12 months?


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • GeoguessrWhere in the world...?

    Think you are a geography expert? Test your knowledge with BBC Travel’s interactive game

Programmes

  • Click presenter Spencer Kelly flies a droneClick Watch

    From wearable technology to drones and robots - highlights from 2014

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.