Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Tunisian cleric issues fatwa on soccer prayer

A Tunisian sheikh has issued a fatwa against soccer players prostrating themselves in prayer after they score goals. According to the cleric, they are not appropriately dressed for prayer and it is not an appropriate venue for something that holy. Also, the players are not always appropriately facing Mecca when they do their game-time prostrations.

The practice of a thanksgiving prayer after scoring a goal is widespread in the Arab world, to the extent that the Egyptian team has been nicknamed "the worshippers."

Other clerics disputed this fatwa. An Egyptian cleric from Al Azhar University said that such prayers are appropriate, saying that such prayers are good publicity for Islam in front of the television cameras.