In a Friday, December 2, 2022 sermon at the Al-Rahma Faith Center in Leeds, UK, British imam Abu Usamah At-Thahabi warned his listeners against a Zionist plot purportedly described in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to keep people distracted with sports and games. He said that watching "a few men running around and kicking a ball [with] their private parts showing" in the World Cup causes Muslims to disregard prayer times and to dishonor their parents. At-Tahahabi also said: "[Real] men do not sit around and watch people kick a ball." At-Thahabi's sermon was posted to the Al-Rahma Faith Center's YouTube channel. For more about At-Thahabi, see MEMRI TV Clips Nos. 9894, 7521, 5706, and 4481.
Abu Usamah At-Thahabi: "During the World Cup, the Muslims are preoccupied and busy. [They] are not praying to Allah. How many don't pray? Prayer [times] come and go and they don't pray. What about disobeying parents? I saw, by the Lord of the Kaaba, with my own eyes, how a mother told her child — while the game was going — 'Go and get this, and go and get that.' 'Go and do this, and go and do that.' The boy ignored his mother, he acted like he didn't hear her. She got upset and cried out: 'Go and do that!' [He said:] 'I don't want to go do that.' Why? Because of a few men running around and kicking a ball, and their private parts are showing? This is forbidden!
"Men are not supposed to be looking at the private parts of other men. The private part is that thing that should be covered.
"Allah loves those things that you engage yourself in that are high and exalted, like getting your own business, building a mosque, like establishing Islam in the world, like marrying off your children, like bringing your mother to you and taking care of your mother. The most lofty things. That's what men busy themselves with. Men do not sit around and watch people kick a ball.
"You know the Zionists, the Protocols of the Zionists. The Protocols [of the Elders of Zion]. In one of those protocols they said: 'Let's keep the people busy with sports and games. Let's keep the people distracted with sports and games.' And that's why all those people make all that money."