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Ultra-conservative Egyptian preacher forbids watching soccer matches amid World Cup fervor

At the height of international world cup fervor, an ultra-conservative Egyptian cleric has said that watching soccer 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 Saturday, 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.