Football and Religion: Tales of Hope, Play and Passion (Closing Event)

Layal Mohammad's picture
November 30, 2022
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Fine Arts, Religious Studies and Theology, Social History / Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies, Sport History / Studies

Join us on Wednesday 30 November for the closing event of Football and Religion: Tales of Hope, Play and Passion exhibition. The event will include a panel discussion about football and religion with a particular emphasis on women’s football. The event will take place at the Aga Khan Centre, London, as well as online and will be followed by a viewing of the exhibition.

About the Exhibition

Presented by the Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC) and the Aga Khan Centre Gallery, this exhibition explores the relationship between football and religion and how the two are often connected, with players praying on the pitch and fans observing religious rituals in tandem. The wider narrative across the exhibition examines football’s ability to champion social causes, promote marginalised voices, and create opportunities for inclusion and diversity in ways no other sport can.

The exhibition provides a narrative on the subject through a snapshot of social history and contemporary commentary with a selection of books, magazines and newspaper articles, relevant objects, and artefacts. This narrative provides the contextual backdrop for a series of new artworks created by visual artist, illustrator, and animator Ed Merlin Murray.

Murray has created a series of short animations presented as an immersive installation depicting interviews with a number of male and female football players describing their personal relationship to football and religion. The players selected are from across the world and all are at different stages of their careers — from Aksa Nisar, a 17-year-old south Asian player in the early stages of her career, to Cheikhou Kouyaté, a Senegalese professional footballer who plays for Premier League club Crystal Palace, and Linvoy Primus MBE, an English former professional footballer who played for Portsmouth and Charlton Athletic FC. The exhibition also includes full interview transcripts as way of sharing the wider conversations and individuals’ impassioned tales of hope, passion, and play.

The exhibition, Football and Religion, includes something for everyone — from eye-catching immersive illustrated animations to interactive art and a host of inspirational media that allow visitors to delve into the subject as much as they wish. Find out more


• Kevin Coleman (Chair): Formerly Kick It Out, The FA and Brentford FC.

• Dal Darroch: Head of Diversity and Inclusion, The FA.

• Karishma and Sumaria Inayat: Gilgit Baltistan Girls FC, Pakistan.

• Lipa Nessa: Sports Activist, FIFA Fan Movement Member, Trustee Muslim Sports and Youth Sport Trust.

• Linvoy Primus: MBE, Christians in Sports and formerly Portsmouth and Southampton FC.

Special Guests

• Ed Merlin Murray: Visual artist and animator.

• Matt Baker: Director of Sports Chaplaincy UK and Chaplain for Charlton Athletic FC.

• Yasmin Abukar: Founder of Sisterhood FC.

• Qadria Saeedi: Club Coordinator, Afghanistan and Central Asian Association - Abresham Girls FC.

• Dr Zafar Iqbal: Head of Sports Medicine, Crystal Palace FC.

• Lat Blaylock: RE Today Editor, National RE Adviser.

• Tony Burnett: CEO, Kick It Out.

• Anwar Uddin: Campaign Manager for Fans for Diversity, Kick It Out, The FA ,and Assistant Manager at Aldershot Town FC.

Dates and Times

Panel Discussion: 30 November 2022, 18:00 - 19:00 (London).

Exhibition Viewing: 30 November 2022, 19:00 - 20:00.

                                  Exhibition runs until: 4 December 2022.


Aga Khan Centre (Atrium Conference Room and Gallery),
10 Handyside Street,
London N1C 4DN


The event is free, but booking is essential:

To attend in person, register via Eventbrite.

To attend online, register via Eventbrite.

Contact Info: 

 Layal Mohammad
 Manager, Marketing and Communications
 The Aga Khan University (International) in the United Kingdom
 Aga Khan Centre, 10 Handyside Street, London N1C 4DN

 Phone: +44 [0] 20 7380 3839

 Incorporated in England as a company limited by guarantee no. 4448389 
 Registered Charity Number 1179136

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