EA Sports' latest Fifa campaign highlights the lack of British Asian representation in professional football and introduces some new Muslim role models in sport.
This is the winning ad in Channel 4’s annual Diversity in Advertising Award, which in 2020 focused on the portrayal of UK black, Asian and minority ethnic cultures in advertising. It heroes the Midnight Ramadan League, a grassroots team set up for those who struggle to play during the Ramadan fast, with matches kicking off after Iftar (the evening meal with which Muslims break the daily fast) and before Suhoor (the early morning meal that comes before fasting).
The ad tells the story of Qaiser, a British Asian teenager who plays in the Midnight Ramadan League. Qaiser is tired at the end of a day of fasting, but his younger sister Aaminah kicks a ball at him and says, "stop being lazy." After Iftar, Qaiser heads out to join the rest of the Midnight Ramadan League on the pitch. When his energy lags and a tackle knocks him to the ground, a professional footballer – Leicester City midfielder and Fifa ambassador Hamza Choudhury – suddenly appears to encourage him, saying: "If I can do this, so can you". The action quickly switches between a Fifa game and real life, where Qaiser helps his team win the match before hurrying home to play with his sister. It ends with the tagline: "inspire the next generation".
The work was written by Selma Ahmed, art directed by Genevieve Gransden and directed by Bassam Tariq through Pulse Films. Tariq also directed the 2020 film Mogul Mowgli starring Riz Ahmed.