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Saudi Arabian Muslim Cleric urges FIFA to ban players from making Christian signs on the pitch

A Saudi Muslim cleric and professor of religion at King Saud University in Riyadh, Mohammed Alarefe, has called on world football’s gove...

A Saudi Muslim cleric and professor of religion at King Saud University in Riyadh, Mohammed Alarefe, has called on world football’s governing body, FIFA to ban Christian players from making the sign of the cross and other Christian signs on the football pitch especially after scoring.

Mohammed Alarefe posted the controversial call on Twitter to his 17.4million followers, but he was quickly flooded with messages disagreeing with him. Gossipmill quoted him as saying;

“I’ve seen video clips of athletes, soccer players running, shooting and when they win they make the symbol of the cross on their chests and my question is if FIFA’s rules forbid this”.

Twitter users from all religious backgrounds were quick to shut him down, pointing out that the act was an expression of joy and even Muslim players bow to the ground after scoring.



A number of people pointed out to the Muslim scholar that a huge amount of players kneel on the ground and kiss the floor in celebration of a goal, mimicking the Islamic prayer too.

The issue of religion and football is a touchy issue in Muslim majority countries especially in the Middle East. 
Recently, Real Madrid revealed they will not feature the traditional Christian cross on clothing sold in some Middle East countries under a new regional deal.

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