In the world of al-Shabab, simply playing football is a satanic act

If you thought the biggest woes a national football team could face were injured players, bad calls by referees or boisterous fans blowing vuvuzelas, think again.

Al-Shabab, a hard-line Islamic militia waging a campaign of terrorism across Somalia, has banned playing football in many areas it controls. The militia – linked to al-Qaeda – and Hezb-i-Islami, a rival extremist group, prohibited World Cup broadcasts, describing the sport as ”a satanic act’‘ that corrupts Muslims.

The militants have brutally targeted politicians, clerics and peacekeepers – anyone who has challenged their extreme views.

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This post was last updated: Nov. 21, 2013