Stephen Dodd tweeted a picture of Asif Bodi and Abubakar Bhula worshipping on their knees in a stairwell of Liverpool’s Anfield ground. He added the caption: ‘Muslims praying at half-time at the match yesterday #DISGRACE.’
UK Daily Mail (h/t Maria J) Mr Dodd’s post, made after Liverpool took on Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup last month, was met with widespread condemnation on social media, with users branding him a ‘bigot’ and ‘disgrace to humanity’. The tweet was reported to police, who investigated but decided no criminal offense had taken place. (Criminal? For speaking the truth? It’s not only a disgrace, it’s disgusting) They have referred the matter back to the club.
Last night, Liverpool promised to take ‘appropriate action’ against the supporter. It is not known if Mr Dodd is a season ticket holder, but he could have this revoked or be banned from future matches.
Yesterday Mr Bodi, 46, a solicitor from Preston, told the Daily Mail that it was not the first time he had prayed at a match. It was during half-time that we needed to pray,’ the lawyer said. ‘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.
Muslims are required to pray five times each day – between dawn and sunrise; at midday when the sun passes its highest point; in the late afternoon; just after sunset; and around nightfall. (But if they miss the prayers, they are allowed to make it up in the privacy of their own home or in the nearest toilet)