Cheating in football is a sin, religious scholars say

May 7, 2012

Two Saudi religious scholars have warned that players who fool referees to score goals or to obtain penalties or fouls are committing a sin and blighting ethics.

“Cheating is deceiving and usurping other people’s rights and as such it is wrong. This is not allowed in Islam and it is haram,” Dr Abullah Al Motlaq and Shaikh Abdullah Al Maniaa said. “The wrongdoing is compounded when the player swears by God to support his lie. Players should avoid deceiving others, cheating and lying and should set good examples for young people.”

The use of negative attitudes to win a match is an ominous indication of the decline in moral values ​​and the transformation of sports from a source of honest competition to bigotry and fanaticism, Al Maniaa said.

“The continuation of these trends poses a threat to the values ​​and morals of our children who like sports and may ultimately make religious scholars issue a fatwa banning attending football matches to avoid the negative practices by players,” he said, Saudi Arabic daily Sharq reported.

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“We urge players to avoid lapsing into negative attitudes and we call on parents, educators and religious scholars to help instill and promote good values and morals and to tackle the negative phenomena in the sports community,” he said.

Officials overseeing sports should take stringent actions against cheaters and liars to help improve the ethics and standards of matches, Al Maniaa said.

Diving, doping and match fixing are considered the three biggest areas for cheating in football, an increasingly competitive game with huge amounts of money at stake.


Famous cheats in football:

 Diego Maradona’s goal for Argentina in the 1986 World Cup match against England: Maradona used his hand to score the goal. He later said that he scored “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God”.

The match between France and Ireland to decide who will go to the 2010 World Cup:

French striker Thierry Henry used his hand to control the ball and pass to a teammate, who scored the decisive goal. Henry later said: “I will be honest, it was a handball. But I’m not the ref. I played it, the ref allowed it. That’s a question you should ask him.”

2010 World Cup elimination match between England and Germany:

England midfielder Frank Lampard had a shot that was clearly over the goal line. Manuel Neuer, the German goalkeeper, grabbed the ball and put it back into play. The referee allowed play to continue. Neuer later reportedly said: “I tried not to react to the referee and just concentrate on what was happening. I realised it was over the line and I think the way I carried on so quickly fooled the referee into thinking it was not over.”



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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