Saudi cleric's fatwa: Women only watch soccer to look at men's thighs

“A woman seeing a foreign man is sinful, so what about seeing his thighs and tight kit?"

May 30, 2015 12:01
1 minute read.
Wales’ Gareth Bale celebrates scoring a goal against Israel during their qualifying match

Wales’ Gareth Bale celebrates scoring a goal against Israel during their Euro 2016 Group B qualifying soccer match at the Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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A Saudi cleric has issued a fatwa (religious edict) stating that women only watched soccer to stare at men’s thighs, Al Arabiya reported on Saturday.

The imam said it should be forbidden for women to watch football games and they “do not care who wins the match, all they care about is watching the player’s thighs.”

He added that a “woman seeing a foreign man is sinful, so what about seeing his thighs and tight kit?”

The fatwa garnered criticism on social media, including a trending hashtag on twitter in Arabic translating to: #women_love_football_because_of_players'_thighs, the news outlet reported. 

Columnist Ruqaya Al-Huwairni was quoted by Al-Arabiya as writing in Saudi daily Al-Jazirah: "I cannot describe how embarrassed and annoyed I was after listening to a fatwa issued by a local mosque imam.”

“To be frank, I do not know why women are looked down upon more than men. This is common among scholars and extremists. How is it possible for anyone to say that women only watch football to enjoy looking at players’ thighs?" she queried.

Last summer, salafi clerics in Saudi Arabia and Egypt issued fatwas and statements against viewing the World Cup soccer tournament before the games began.

At the time, Saudi Sheikh Saleh al-Fawzan opined: “Muslims must set aside games and frivolity and take up God’s work. They must not waste their time following games and frivolity, especially not during the blessed month of Ramadan.

This is true for Muslims in general, and the younger generation in particular... These games have no use, and they are harmful and a waste of time.”

Ariel Ben Solomon contributed to this report.

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