When phrase were given out that Seville’s Muslim neighborhood have been about to lose their mosque, former Tottenham and West Ham striker Fredi Kanoute knew he needed to lend a hand.
In 2007, the owner of a transformed segment of a development within the Ponce de Leon house of the Andalusian town used to be taking a look to promote, that means the burgeoning Muslim neighborhood would face eviction.
“I helped the Muslim neighborhood in Seville a couple of years again. On the time they have been taking a look to safeguard their position of worship. I helped them to stay their transient mosque,” recalled the previous Sevilla striker.
Having carried out due diligence to determine that the whole lot used to be “professional” there used to be a situation of anonymity which Kanoute insisted on. Then again, days later, the scoop used to be leaked all over the place the media.
Kanoute’s generosity of $700,000 intended the Fundacion Mezquita de Sevilla remained a spot of worship for him and different Muslims within the town.
These days, that development is suffering to deal with the rising numbers wishing to hope there, and now Kanoute helps the purpose once more.
A bigger plot of land in Seville has been known to build a three-storey, purpose-built mosque with underground parking.
This time, Kanoute is aiming to boost £250,000 during the Kanoute four Seville Mosque marketing campaign for the primary purpose-built mosque in Seville in over 700 years.
Within the first few weeks of Ramadan, he used to be nearing part that focus on quantity.
Kanoute joined Sevilla from Tottenham in 2005. Within the seven years that adopted, the Mali striker loved his maximum a success length in soccer.
He lifted the Uefa Cup two times, the Spanish Cup two times and each the Eu and Spanish Tremendous Cups, whilst in 2007 he used to be voted African Footballer of the 12 months.
Adored via the trustworthy on the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, Seville has remained a different position in his center and is the place he found out a novel bond with the Sevillanos.
“I performed there for seven years, and as a Muslim the very first thing you do whilst you arrive in a brand new town is you discover a position to hope,” he stated.
“Where I discovered used to be that mosque, that I name the transient mosque, this is nonetheless there. I discovered an incredible neighborhood this is formed of now not best immigrants – as we all the time image the Muslims coming from outdoor. It is Spanish or second-generation converts. They are Europeans, they are from Andalusia too.
“They have been born as Muslims, and there’s an incredible and wonderful combine between Moroccans, Algerians, Senegalese, Malian, and it used to be similar to an exquisite neighborhood. That is the mosque I used to visit each and every Friday and each and every time I may pass.
“In 2007, sadly they were given the dangerous information that they have been going to be evicted since the landlord sought after to evict them and hire or promote the valuables to any person else.
“I heard in regards to the tale on the time and we sat in combination. We had a bit dialogue on it and I proposed to lend a hand them save the mosque via buying it mainly.”
Aided via Spaniards Ibrahim Hernandez and Luqman Nieto within the making plans of the brand new mosque mission, Kanoute nonetheless maintains a detailed hyperlink to Seville.
He virtually drifts into every other parallel whilst you pay attention to him communicate in regards to the particular nature of this a part of southern Spain.
“It has this particular flavour, a different gentle, it is a particular town. Soccer has so much to do with it,” he stated.
“Individuals are simply loopy about their soccer. I don’t believe I will be able to take into accout having observed one unmarried individual there now not liking soccer or now not following soccer and now not following one of the vital two groups, Sevilla FC or Actual Betis.
“It is completely loopy there, I have by no means observed that, and I have performed in lots of derbies in London.
“However the derby that I have lived in in Seville is simply loopy. So, sure there’s a particular flavour about this town and it is going past soccer.
“I have observed an incredible neighborhood there and I am not best speaking in regards to the Muslim neighborhood. The individuals who gained us are very welcoming.”
In 209 appearances for Sevilla, Kanoute scored 89 instances, however his objectives are actually interested in giving again.
Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucoure and Manchester Town’s Benjamin Mendy are some of the avid gamers supporting Kanoute’s mission, as is former Arsenal participant Abou Diaby.
“We’d like them and the entire athletes as a result of my hyperlink used to be with soccer. While you see other folks retweet or strengthen the mission, it is helping.”
As donations are available from around the globe, Kanoute’s ambition for a brand new mosque and Islamic centre open to everybody may quickly be the latest construction to grace the Seville skyline.