FIFA World Cup craze has taken over the world and India is no different. However, controversy has sparked in Kerala amid the football fever. A Muslim body in Kerala on Friday came out against soccer-crazy youth in the state, who have erected cutouts of star players in support of their teams participating in the coveted tournament. The body claims that worshipping football celebrities is against Islam and urged them to not wave flags of Portugal which had colonised many countries.
FIFA World Cup has drawn criticism
Nasar Faizy Koodathayi, general secretary of the Qutba committee under the Samastha Kerala Jam-Iyyathul Ulama, expressed concern over football fans spending so much money on the cutouts of Argentina’s Lionel Messi, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr of Brazil. He lamented over the fact that students were losing interest in studies due to the games in Qatar.
“It is not right to wave the flag of Portugal which colonised many countries,” the cleric said, adding that it was not right for Indians to respect and wave the flags of other nations.
Nasar Koodathayi said he, however, was not against football.
“The game should be seen in a sportsman’s spirit. Football is becoming a fever people are getting addicted to. This is not good,” Mr Koodathayi said.
According to him, the sport should be promoted only as a game which encourages physical activity.
“Instead, football has become a fever and fans are engaged in worshipping sport-stars. Today, people are respecting and waving the flags of other nations over their own,” he said.
“Instead of loving our nation, some are engaged in worshipping football stars. There is a limit to worshipping people, when it comes to Islam. Also, people are waving Portugal flags…A country which colonised many countries…,” he said.
Meanwhile, State Education Minister V Sivankutty and Indian Union Muslim League leader M K Muneer reacted against the statement of Samastha leader and said watching football and becoming fans of football legends were part of one’s personal freedom.
Mr Sivankutty said no one has the right to encroach upon another’s.