African football legend in extraordinary on-air rant about homosexuality and Islam (VIDEO)
One of the most successful players in African football history has produced a blistering live rant to an audience of millions during a Premier League game, urging Muslim people to act on homosexuality.
Mohamed Aboutrika boasts more than seven million followers on Instagram, including Liverpool ace Mohamed Salah and Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez.
Providing punditry for BeIN Sports on Manchester United's 1-1 draw at Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday, Aboutrika launched into a homophobic rant sparked by the wearing of rainbow-themed LGBTQ laces.
Players are donning the symbols on their boots in solidarity with the UK-based LGBT rights charity Stonewall as part of a Premier League-backed campaign between November 27 and December 2 to promote equality and diversity.
Mohamed Aboutrika, a retired soccer player, went on Arab equivalent of ESPN (@beINSPORTS) to say homosexuality is against humanity. He’s criticizing @premierleague for its #RainbowLaces campaign. World Cup will be in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal. pic.twitter.com/lnpl9reBve— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) November 29, 2021
The joint initiative encourages "LGBT+ acceptance among children and young people" and aims to equip coaches, teachers and leaders with resources and programs promoting positive attitudes towards the LGBT+ community.
Aboutrika, who won back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations titles with Egypt and scored the winning goal in the 2008 final, clearly doesn't approve.
"This phenomenon, the sexual abnormality of homosexuality – we must educate and raise young kids," the committed Muslim said in his on-air outburst, via translation.
"Such a phenomenon does not fit our faith and does not fit our religion. In the past, we used to say 'ignore this phenomenon.' But no – now this phenomenon became nasty and it exists.
"We give credit to many Muslim players in the Premier League for not participating in LGBT campaigns. That's the role of Muslim players and Muslim scholars – this phenomenon broke through our society.
"This phenomenon is not only against Islam's nature; it's against human nature. Allah says in the Quran, 'we have honored the children of Adam.' So by doing this homosexuality, we are not honoring humans, we are humiliating them. People should pay attention and be careful – sports are inside every home now.
"We all have a role to play to stand up against this homosexuality, this phenomenon which is not complete with Islam and is against common sense.
"Our religion, Islam, and all religions [must] fight it and warn about it. So this is our role to play, we have to pay attention. I hope that in the coming years, BeIN Sports, during [LGBT campaigns], will only show the game live at the referee's whistle, without studios in order to avoid everything LGBT-related.
"We can't guarantee what happens in the middle of games, but anyway, this is a suggestion to beIN Sports. Our role is to stand up to homosexuality because it's a dangerous ideology, it's becoming nasty and people are not ashamed of it anymore. They will tell you that homosexuality is 'human rights'. No, it is not 'human rights' – in fact, it's against humanity."
BeIN Sports issued a response amid a backlash. "As a global media group we represent, champion and support people, causes and interests of every single background, language and cultural heritage across 43 hugely diverse countries, as we show every day," the Qatari channel said through a spokesperson.
The Premier League said that it "wholeheartedly" disagrees with the analyst's views.
"The Premier League and its clubs are committed to supporting LGBTQ+ inclusion and making clear football is for everyone," it added.