Is attending football matches haram? If so, would any money made by selling football tickets also be haram money?
There are two separate matters that need to be discussed here. The first is regarding the trading of match tickets and the second is attending a match.
When it comes to the trading of match tickets, one has to look at what the ticket represents. After taking a look at some contracts, we can see that a ticket in essence gives the purchaser the right to access a match or multiple matches which means that the purchaser is entitled to enter a stadium at a particular time for a certain duration of time. This, in and of itself, is a lawful contract and therefore it would be permissible to buy and sell tickets.
As for attending a football match this is not as straightforward. The reason being that the sports industry is not as simple as some individuals playing sports whilst others are observing. Rather, a particular environment is created surrounding sports and this environment contains elements not compatible with the teachings of shari’ah. For example, the industry will include elements of gambling, music, alcohol, intermingling of sexes, amongst others. How much a person will be exposed to would depend on the type of match one is attending and the precautions that individual exercises.
It is technically possible that a person attends a match without violating any principles of shari’ah but this would be very difficult and would require the person to exercise a lot of caution. Every time they hear music they would have to cover their ears, or wear earphones and have something playing to block out the music. They would have to ensure that they do not look at the nakedness (‘awrah) of any person in the stadium whether that is of a supporter or the players themselves. They would have to ensure that they stay away from elements of gambling and alcohol. The last two factors are more within a person’s control, however the first two will be very difficult for a person to abide by as the music is not within their control and can be quite loud, and the close proximity to others as well as the clothing of players will make it difficult to avoid looking at someone’s nakedness.
For these reasons it is very unlikely that a person will be able to go to a match without compromising these factors. Even if a person was to exercise full caution, one who is God-conscious would not want to place themselves in such an environment in the first place.
In conclusion, from a technical legal perspective, if a person was able to attend a match avoiding all forms of religious violations then it would be permissible, though as mentioned above this is very unlikely.
Ifta Research Fellow
Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel