Is it permissible to watch football (soccer) games on television?
Football games that are shown on television include a number of things that are contrary to sharee‘ah:
·In most cases -- if not all -- it may come under the category of gambling and betting which are haraam.
·They involve uncovering of ‘awrahs, mixing of men and women and listening to musical instruments.
In addition to that, they are a waste of time, which is spent on something that is not beneficial and distracts one from that which is more beneficial to him in religious and worldly terms.
As that is the case, the Muslim, whether male or female, should not preoccupy himself with that. He should keep himself busy with useful things that will benefit him in this world and in the Hereafter.
The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas were asked: What is the ruling on watching sports tournaments such as the World Cup and so on?
They replied: Football matches that are played for money and similar prizes are haraam, because that is gambling. It is not permissible to accept a prize except in things that sharee‘ah has deemed permissible, namely racing horses and camels, and competing in archery. Based on that, going to matches is haraam and so is watching them [on TV], for the one who knows that they are being played for a prize, because going to them implies approval of them.
But if the match is not for a prize and does not distract one from what Allah has enjoined, such as prayer and the like, and it does not involve anything that is contrary to sharee‘ah, such as uncovering ‘awrahs, mixing of men and women or musical instruments, there is nothing wrong with that or with watching it. End quote.
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 15/238
Shaykh Ibn Jibreen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: What is the ruling on women watching football matches for entertainment and to support a team?
It is not permissible to watch matches, as the players are usually not dressed properly and some of the thighs show, or the awrah may be outlined by the clothes, and that is a fitnah for women. If the aim is to relax, then that may be done by remembering Allah, reciting Qur’aan, and reading books of hadeeth, fiqh and ahkaam. End quote from the website of Shaykh Ibn Jibreen.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: What is the ruling on watching football matches that are shown on television?
What I think is that watching matches that are shown on television and other events is a waste of time; a smart and wise man would not waste his time with such matters that bring no benefit at all.
This applies if it is free of other evils; if it is accompanied by other evils, such as if the viewer begins to venerate a kaafir player for example, then it is undoubtedly haraam, because it is not permissible for us to venerate the kuffaar at all, no matter how far they have advanced. It is also haraam if the thighs of young men appear, which may result in fitnah. So the correct view in my opinion is that it is not permissible for young men when they play football to let their thighs show, because that involves fitnah, even according to the view that the thigh is not ‘awrah. So I do not think that young men should ever show their thighs. If we say that the thigh is ‘awrah, which is a well-known view of the madhhab of Imam Ahmad, then the matter is clear: it is not permissible in any case.
What I advise our brothers to do is to make good use of their time, for time is the most precious of wealth. End quote.
And Allah knows best.