Spoil sport: Saudi sheikh gives soccer the boot

Saudi cleric Sheikh 'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Barrak says that the popular sport is an "abomination" and goes against many of the foundations of Islam.

June 12, 2014 11:48
A female soccer player controls a ball during a training

A female soccer player controls a ball during a training. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The World Cup that kicks off in Brazil on Thursday evening, but not everyone is excited. 

In a recent fatwa, Saudi cleric Sheikh 'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Barrak wrote that the game of soccer is a moral and social abomination.

According to a translation of his statements by Memri, the Middle East Media Research Institute, the sheik proclaimed that football has caused the degradation of Islam.

"There is no doubt that football, played according to [the accepted international rules], has caused Muslims to adopt some of the customs of the enemies of Islam, who are [preoccupied with] games and frivolity. [This game] causes many abominable and corrupt acts," he said.

One of the central issues with the sport, which goes against the pillars of Islam, is the act of being a "fanatic" fan. "A social abomination, manifest in being a fanatic [fan] of a certain team, which spawns hostility between the fans of different teams."

The sheikh also disapproves of a Muslim fan admiring a football player who is not Muslim.

Football games also cause people to curse and become aggressive, the sheikh wrote.

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