What is the ruling on supporting sports teams?
Blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allaah.
The Muslim should be serious in his life and keep himself busy with that for which he was created, which is the worship of Allaah alone. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And I (Allaah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)”[al-Dhaariyaat 51:26]
He should have nothing to do with these matters which harm him in both spiritual and worldly terms and distract him from that which is in his best interests in this world and in the Hereafter. The basic guideline concerning permissible things according to the scholars is that whatever distracts one from obligatory duties or becomes a means of committing forbidden actions; thereby becomes haraam. As for things that distract one from doing things that are mustahabb but are not a means of committing haraam actions, then they are makrooh. Whatever does not distract from either obligatory duties or mustahabb actions is permissible in principle. Whoever looks at those who support sports teams will find that they devote all their time and energy to supporting the team, and they neglect many obligatory duties, e.g., they neglect praying in congregation, they delay their prayers beyond the proper time, and other things which are no secret. If the matter reaches this level it is undoubtedly haraam. In addition, this support is accompanied by attachment of the heart, and love and hatred based on that.