Playing soccer is permissible subject to certain conditions.
1 – That it should not be for money, whether it is paid by the two teams, one of them or by a third party, because it is not permissible to give prizes except for competitions which help prepare one for jihad, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There should be no (money) prizes for competitions except archery competitions and races with camels and horses.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1700), al-Nasaa’i (3585), Abu Dawood (2575) and Ibn Maajah (2878); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
Some scholars added to these three anything that helps in jihad and propagating Islam, such as competitions in knowledge of Qur’aan, hadeeth and fiqh, in which is permissible to offer prizes.
Therefore it is not permissible to give or take the prizes that are given to those who win soccer matches and tournaments between two or more teams, and they come under the heading of forbidden betting.
2 – The game should not be accompanied by anything haraam, such as uncovering the ‘awrah. The man’s ‘awrah is the area from the navel to the knee, and it is well known that most of those who play this game uncover their thighs, but this is haraam and is not permitted.
3 – The game should not lead to anything that is haraam, such as missing prayers, or missing Jumu’ah prayer or prayers in congregation. Unfortunately we say that many of those who play this game in clubs miss the prayers because of the matches. It is well known that delaying the prayer beyond its time with no excuse is a major sin, and it is narrated from a number of scholars that the one who does that deliberately is a kaafir, so we must be very careful.
This has to do with the game itself. But if there are tournaments on which money is spent and people are distracted by them, and waste time because of them, and they provoke factionalism and both Muslims and kaafirs, righteous and evildoers are glorified to the extent that a player becomes a role model for one’s sons and daughters, then this definitely should not be allowed, because among the ummah there are enough calamities, ignorance and backwardness to distract them from games on which millions of the people’s wealth are spent.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The basic principle concerning such games and sports is that they are permissible if they serve an innocent purpose, as was referred to by Ibn al-Qayyim in his book al-Faroosiyyah and as was mentioned by Shaykh Taqiy al-Deen Ibn Taymiyah and others. If that is done as training for jihad and attack and retreat, or for physical fitness, or to ward off chronic diseases and strengthen the spirit, then it comes under the heading of permissible things, if the one who does it has a sound intention. In all cases it is essential that there be no harm caused to bodies or minds, and that it does not lead to the grudges and hatred that usually occur between players, and that it does not distract them from things that are more important, and that it does not prevent them from remembrance of Allaah (dhikr) or prayer.
But whoever thinks about these sports as they are played nowadays will find that they are involve evil things which dictate that they should be disallowed, in addition to the fact that it is in the nature of the game to create factionalism and stir up resentment and hatred between the victors and the losers, this team and that team, as is quite apparent. They are also accompanied by physical danger for the players as the result of collisions and fisticuffs. Games hardly ever end without one of them breaking a bone or being injured or losing consciousness. This is why ambulances are always present.
The games also continue during the times of prayer, which results in people not praying or offering the prayer late.
The players also uncover their ‘awrah, which is forbidden. The man’s ‘awrah is the area from the navel to the knee. But you will find that their clothes end at mid-thigh, and some of them are shorter than that. It is well known that the thigh is part of the ‘awrah because of the hadeeth: “Cover your thigh for the thigh is part of the ‘awrah.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2797) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani. And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to ‘Ali: “Do not uncover your thigh and do not look at the thigh of anyone, living or dead.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (4015). And Allaah knows best.
End quote from Fataawa al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem, vol. 8, question no. 1948.
And he (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Playing football nowadays is accompanied by reprehensible things which mean that playing it should be disallowed. These things may be summed up as follows:
1 – It is proven to us that play continues during the times of prayer, which results in the players and spectators missing prayers or prayers in congregation, or they delay performing prayers until the time for them is over. Undoubtedly any action that interferes with performance of prayers on time or leads to missing prayers in congregation with no valid shar’i excuse is haraam.
2 – The nature of this game leads to factionalism, stirring up fitnah and hatred. These results are the opposite of what Islam promotes of tolerance, friendship and brotherhood, and cleaning hearts and souls of hatred, resentment and grudges.
3 – The game involves physical danger for the players as a result of collisions and injuries. Usually the players do not end the game without some of them falling on the pitch unconscious or with broken arms or legs. Nothing is more indicative of that than the fact that there must always be an ambulance present throughout the game.
4 – The purpose behind allowing sports is to make people become physically active and to train them for fighting and to ward off chronic disease. But playing football nowadays has no such aim. As well as the things mentioned above, it is now also taking people’s money for false purposes, let alone the danger of physical injury and the generation of hatred in the hearts of players and spectators, and the stirring up of fitnah. It has even gone so far that some spectators attack some players, which could go as far as murder, as happened in a match a few months ago. This alone is sufficient reason to disallow it. And Allaah is the source of strength. End quote.
He also said:
If it is done in an organized manner [as in the clubs] it seems that it should be banned altogether, because people becomes deeply involved in it and that prevents people from remembering Allaah, and it more akin to gambling. They call it “sport” but it is just a game, and matters of jihad are not like this, and even if the players have some agility and nimbleness, they are not able to strive hard in any other field.
It also involves other things. Some of them offer prizes for it, and this is gambling. Islam does not allow prizes for anything except competitions which support the religion and strengthen one for that. If it strengthens Islam then it is permissible to engage in competitions. In the hadeeth it says: “There should be no (money) prizes for competitions except archery competitions and races with camels and horses.” And this applies by analogy with these three to anything that supports Islam. End quote. Question no. 1950.
He also said: As for one or two people playing with a ball in an unorganized fashion, there is nothing wrong with that, because it does not involve anything haraam. And Allaah knows best. End quote. Question no. 1949.
Having established this, we do not advise you to marry this soccer player unless he gives it up, whether he is playing for a local club or a foreign one, especially since that will result in your moving to live with him in a kaafir country where there is the risk of temptation for oneself or one’s children, and it is difficult for a person to maintain his religious commitment in the environment of that game and in a kaafir country.
You may also refer to question no. 13363 for more information on living in the land of the mushrikeen.
And Allaah knows best.