SHEFFIELD – Twenty-four-year-old Sheffield Wednesday star Jeremy Helan has announced quitting football to concentrate more on his Islamic faith.
“It is the talk of the dressing room,” a close ally to the Muslim footballer was quoted by Nigeria’s Daily Post on Tuesday, September 20.
“Jeremy told them what he wanted to do last week. He said that he wanted to quit for Saudi to concentrate on religion after becoming more involved at a mosque in Sheffield.
The Owls midfielder came through Manchester City as a youngster.
He also played as France Under-19 defender, and was seen as a replacement for former France international, Patrice Evra.
Yet, he decided to walk away from the game in order to ‘concentrate on religion.’
“The club are a bit taken aback by it. They are working with him to come to some kind of agreement,” the unnamed ally added.
The Muslim existence on English football pitches is dated back to 1992 Tottenham’s Spanish midfielder Nayim who was then the only Muslim player in the league.
Seeking new talented players for the league, scouts brought new players from West Africa and Paris to become global stars.
The growing influx of Muslim players has been fueled by the globalization of football.
Seeing all those Muslim stars, fans were also getting an education in Muslim practices.
Children playing football in the parks of Newcastle have been spotted falling to their knees, as if in prayer, after scoring a goal.
Though many kids do not know what it means, many see this as a sign that Muslim practices are becoming a more familiar part of popular British culture.