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Nothing anti-Islamic in football: Kerala Muslim cleric

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Kochi, Nov 27: Muslim cleric Sajid Rashidi has called out a circular which criticised the soccer craze in the Muslim youth in Kerala, saying the football game is not "anti-Islamic."

"There is nothing anti-Islamic in football. If it would have been why Qatar would host the World Cup. They should then issue an order against Qatar for hosting the football world cup. Anybody can take interest in football since it's a sport," ANI quoted Sajid Rashidi as saying.

Nothing anti-Islamic in football: Kerala Muslim cleric

The Muslim cleric stated that cheering up any player as it has nothing to do with religion and it's a personal choice. "Cheering for a fan or even holding the flag of a country has nothing to do with religion. People from Pakistan can like Indian players and vice versa," said Sajid Rashidi.

Nasar Faisi general secretary of Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama, one of the largest Muslim organisations in Kerala, created a controversy with his comments on football.

"The devotees of football shouldn't spare prayer time for it since the sport is a drug," he said. Nasar Faisi claimed that the youth should avoid spending money carelessly on cutouts and banners. "An awareness will go in Mosques of the organisation against squandering of money in the name of cut-outs and unwanted banners in connection with the world cup," he said.

Salafi preacher Abdul Muhisin Aydeed had questioned the youths, asking them the benefits for an individual and the society if a particular team wins the match in the ongoing World Cup in Qatar.

"The valuable time of human life is just killed by watching this game. Anyone, this society or your parents are benefitting out of this? Still, people are showing enmity over this game and fighting each other on road," PTI quoted the scholar as saying in a function. "What a foolishness it is," he asked.

Also, the video of a portion of the speech was posted on the cleric's Facebook account.

Another scholar Perode Abdurahman Saqafi also reportedly slammed erecting cutouts of star players and sought the immediate intervention of the religious leadership against the football craze among the Muslim youths.

However, State Education Minister V Sivankutty and Indian Union Muslim League leader MK Muneer said that watching football and becoming fans of football legends were part of one's personal freedom.

With inputs from agencies

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