Football Fatwa

There must be a mole at the Guardian. Prince Charles would frown wonderingly in the manner of Ned Welch if he read this article – HRH would be most unamused. But that’s his problem.

As part of a government drive to eliminate frivolous fatwas, the Saudi newspaper Al Watan recently published a stone-cold sober one on football. If you can read it without collapsing in helpless laughter – I have bad news for you: you seem to be deceased.

International terminology that heretics use, such as “foul,” “penalty”, “corner,” “goal”, “out” and others, should be abandoned and not said…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…Play in your regular clothes or your pyjamas or something like that, but not coloured shorts and numbered T-shirts, because shorts and T-shirts are not Muslim clothing.

Okay. I’m beginning to form a picture. Teams of either five people or eighty seven people wearing pyjamas gather together in a field and mill aimlessly around because they have abandoned the word and with it the concept ‘goal.’

Do not play in two halves. Rather, play in one half or three halves in order to completely differentiate yourselves from the heretics, the corrupted and the disobedient.

Yeah! Nothing more disobedient than talking nonsense about two halves. Talking about three halves so much more obedient and submissive. And pure, too.

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.

Oh that’s how you say it! You ‘put the leather between the posts.’ Cool. Except when you don’t, whereupon you leave the field, because doing the other thing is the pinnacle of heretic-imitation. Got it.

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?

Ah. That’s a nice touch – a pretty thought. Spitting in people’s faces – yes, that’s always pleasant and sporting, that always goes down well. Very festive, very enjoyable, very athletic and wholesome and fresh air-enhancing. Miserable lousy stinking America and France. Ptah! Ptooie! Hkkkkkkkfwop! Take that, heretic hugging bastards.

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.

And the two posts should not be straight in the manner of despotic international posts but they should be crooked and skywompus so that they fall down a lot. And the ball should be triangular in shape and made of fava beans, so that it falls to bits as soon as it is kicked, because a ball that stays in one piece is despotic and international, both.

Do not do what is called “substitution,” that is, taking the place of someone who has fallen, because this is a practice of the heretics in America and elsewhere.

No. No no no no no. No, if someone has fallen, you should spit in his face, and then all of you jump up and down on him until he is dead (read him this fatwa to make sure – if he doesn’t laugh, you’ve done a thorough job). Then you should leave the field, declaring victory as you go, because to do anything else would be heretical and French and American and just plain crazy, man.

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