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LUCKNOW, India: A senior cleric at an influential Islamic seminary in northern India has issued a religious decree saying that Muslim women should not watch men playing soccer.

Mufti Athar Kasmi said that watching men “playing with bare knees” violated the tenets of Islam and was forbidden for women. Kasmi is cleric at Darul Uloom, Asia’s largest Sunni Muslim seminary in the northern town of Deoband.

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The cleric also lashed out at the men who allow their wives to watch football even on television.

“Do you have no shame? Do you not fear God? You let her watch these kinds of things,” he said in his sermon Friday.

Kasmi’s decree comes even as the Sunni Muslim kingdom of Saudi Arabia allowed women in to watch matches in soccer stadiums earlier this month.

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