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Cleric's warning against World Cup

At the height of international World Cup fervour, an ultra-conservative Egyptian cleric has said that watching football matches was unacceptable in Islam because it is a distraction and "destroys nations".

Yasser Borhami, a founding member of the main Salafi movement in Egypt, the Salafi Call, said spending time watching the games was "a disaster that makes me very irate".

He said it was a distraction from religious and worldly duties, ultimately leading to "the destruction of nations and peoples".

His religious opinion, or edict, which was posted on the group's website in a video yesterday, differed sharply with the conventional wisdom that global sports competitions like the World Cup serve to foster camaraderie and understanding among the nations of the world.

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