In a video posted to his YouTube channel on August 6, 2023, Libyan Islamic scholar Zain Khairalah reacted to a photo of Moroccan female soccer player Nouhaila Benzina, who was the first player to wear a hijab in FIFA's Women's World Cup. He said that while her hair was covered, she was nonetheless exposed and the curves of her body could be seen through her clothing. Khairalah said: "Women are absolutely forbidden from playing soccer." He elaborated that Islamic scholars dispute whether even men are allowed to play soccer.
Zain Khairalah: "I saw a picture of that woman, [Moroccan footballer Nouhaila Benzina] – her clothes were very tight, and her legs were showing.
"In addition, she was wearing short and transparent clothes. Her clothes detailed [the curves of] her body, but she covered her hair. On top of that, she was running! She was running after a ball, and the crowd was watching, at the stadium or through TV. They were watching while her body was bouncing, as she was running after the ball.
"Women are absolutely forbidden from playing soccer. The Islamic Scholars disagree on whether men are allowed to play it, let alone women.
"Obviously, in a place restricted to women, where there are no cameras, women are allowed to play with other women. The problem is with the men to begin with. The problem is that the men are looking at her. The problem does not lie in that round ball. No. The problem is that instead of following the ball, the crowd would watch your body and how it moves."