Should Football (soccer) and Religion Mix?

by John McAlister
Categories: Blog
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Recently, a football association official stopped England ace striker Wayne Rooney from talking about his faith at a recent press conference at the 2010 World Cup.

Offering an insight into his Catholic faith, Rooney explained why he wears a prominent cross and rosary beads around his neck when he’s not playing. FIFAs rules actually forbid political or religious messages in the field. Mark Whittle, the FA’s head of media relations quickly interrupted and said: “We don’t do religion.”

In 2002, after the victory of Brazil, commentators were surprised to see T-shirts that said “Jesus Love you” written in English under the players’ very famous tops. Since the 2002 final, FIFA has banned the use of religious slogans on the personal equipment and clothing of players.

The world of international sports is a difficult place to take a stand for one’s faith. Should religious expressions be banned?