Soccer frenzy: Foul, cry Muslim outfits

via www.newindpress.com published on June 13, 2006


MALAPPURAM: While the football frenzy is sweeping all across the globe, a section of the Muslim youth organisations have come out against the ‘madness’ saying that it will have a ‘corrupting’ influence among the new generation.

Curiously, both the warring Sunni factions have joined hands to condemn the soccer frenzy that has gripped the Muslim youth in Malappuram in particular.

Quran Study Centre, a feeder organisation of the Samastha Kerala Sunni Students’ Federation, is organising a study class on the issue in Kozhikode on June 18.

Panakkad Syed Umerali Shihab Thangal will inaugurate the programme. Rehmathulla Qasmi Muthedam will deliver the keynote address.

“We are not against playing soccer or watching it on television. But spending time before the television, forgetting all other duties should be discouraged,” Nazar Faizi Koodathayi, SKSSF general secretary told this website’s newspaper.

He said that it is an undesirable development that the youths are getting divided into groups supporting various countries. Spending money on erecting costly flex boards and indulging in gambling in the name of soccer also should be condemned.

SSF, the student wing of the Sunnis led by Kanthapuram A.P. Aboobacker Musaliyar and Hudavees Association for Devoted Islamic Activities have also opposed the ‘uncalled for’ enthusiasm among the youth.

Office-bearers of Hudavees Association even held a news conference the other day to express their anger on the soccer fever.

By going after those ‘unscrupulous’ and ‘morally weak’ soccer stars, the youth in the district are falling prey to a ‘conspiracy instigated by the imperialists’, they alleged.

“It is cruel to divert resources and energy when there are many who are suffering from poverty,” they said, adding they would launch strong campaigns against the soccer craze. SSF has held a protest march in Tirur the other day against the football craze saying that ‘capitalist forces are trying to make inroads under the guise of football’.

The Muslim outfits’ ire over soccer has drawn flak from various quarters. There are voices against the attempts by these organisations to cast aspersions on what they call is ‘an innocent pastime of the youth’.

Organisations like the CPM have attacked these outfits saying that they are opposing the youth’s soccer craze as they are afraid of losing ‘manpower’ for their processions and programmes.

CPM district leaders like Saithalikutty and M Ummar had said that there is nothing wrong in celebrating the World Cup as it comes only once in four years. According to them, the argument that there is lavish spending on flex boards has no basis, for, in most cases the boards are erected with the money collected from the public.

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