An Egyptian cleric has stated that watching football matches is unacceptable in Islam because it is a watse of time and destroys nations.
Yasser Borhami, who is a founding member of the main Salafi movement in Egypt, the Salafi Call, sparked an outcry when he said spending time watching the World Cup games in Brazil was “a disaster that makes me very irate.”
According to him, football is a distraction from religious and worldly duties, ultimately leading to “the destruction of nations and peoples.”
Although he gave conditions that would make the art of watching football haram (unacceptable) in Islam, Borhami’s edict, which was posted on the group’s website in a video on Saturday, stopped short of forbidding football watching entirely.
He said, if it is a distraction from religious duties, reveals body parts that some Muslims believe should be covered or causes Muslims to love and support unbelievers, it is sinful to engage in watching it.
Asked by a presenter who is an ardent football fan on the private Egyptian television channel CBC about his edict, Borhami said his words had been taken out of context for political reasons. “I just said, don’t waste your time,” he said.