Vaisakhi celebrated by hundreds at Wembley for the first time

The Football Association and the England and Wales Cricket Board have celebrated the Sikh festival of Vaisakhi like never before.

Vaisakhi – which is one of the most important events in the Sikh calendar – marks the formation of the Khalsa, a community of initiated Sikhs who follow the principles laid down in April 1699 by Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh Guru.

The FA celebrated the festivity for the first time at the iconic Wembley stadium on Monday.

Over 500 guests from various Sikh organisations took part in Kirtan and an Ardaas (Sikh prayers) which echoed in the home of English football and the famous arch was lit up in orange, representing the colour of the Khalsa.

England manager Gareth Southgate sent in a surprise video in which he shared his best wishes congratulated the Sikh community on all it has achieved.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Dal Darroch, Head of Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Programmes at FA said: “One way to connect with people is through their faith, and so by having people here that are seeing the connection between faith and football is one way in which we can demonstrate the game is for them.”

The event included interactive panels which featured some of the leading Sikhs across the game such as former referee Jarnail Singh, first team sports scientist at Aston Villa Aman Shergill, and role model in the female game, Kira Rai of Derby County.

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