In June Saudi Arabia will be appearing at their third World Cup in a row. I have just come across thisfatwa or religious edict issued by the Saudi Arabian government in August last year to control soccer in their country. It's amusing but also scary, like most extreme fundamentalist rule-making. I am pretty sure it is genuine, but parts are almost too good to be true, Here are the highlights.
In the name of God the merciful and benevolent:
International terminology that heretics use, such as "foul," "penalty", "corner," "goal", "out" and others, should be abandoned and not said. Whoever says them should be punished and ejected from the game.
Do not call "foul" and stop the game if someone falls and sprains a hand or foot or the ball touches his hand, and do not give a yellow or red card to whoever was responsible for the injury or tackle. Instead, it should be adjudicated according to Sharia rulings concerning broken bones and injuries.
Do not follow the heretics, the Jews, the Christians and especially evil America regarding the number of players. Do not play with 11 people. Add to this number or decrease it.
If you have fulfilled these conditions and intend to play soccer, play to strengthen the body in order better to struggle in the way of God on high and to prepare the body for when it is called to jihad. Soccer is not for passing time or the thrill of so-called victory.
Do not play in two halves. Rather, play in one or three parts in order to completely differentiate yourselves from the heretics, the corrupted and the disobedient.
If neither of you beats the other, or "wins", as it is called, and neither puts the leather between the posts, do not add extra time or penalties. Instead leave the field, because winning with extra time and penalty kicks is the pinnacle of imitating heretics and international rules.
You should spit in the face of whoever puts the ball between the posts or uprights and then runs in order to get his friends to follow him and hug him like players in America or France do, and you should punish him, for what is the relationship between celebrating, hugging and kissing and the sports that you are practising?
You should use two posts instead of three pieces of wood or steel that you erect in order to put the ball between them, meaning that you should remove the crossbar in order not to imitate the heretics and in order to be entirely distinct from the soccer system's despotic international rules.