Q. In a soccer tournament, if there is an agreement that each player must pay an entrance fee to enter the soccer tournament and the winning team takes all the entrance fees collected, is that allowed?
There are many Muslim youths who play soccer and enter soccer tournaments in this way. Please advise.
A. In general, any game or competition wherein there are implications of risking the loss or gain of one’s wealth fall under the definition of gambling and is not allowed.
In a soccer tournament, when a condition is stipulated for the players to pay an entrance fee to enter the soccer tournament and the prize for wining is that the winning team takes all the entrance fees collected, then either team risks losing their wealth or gaining more wealth. This constitutes gambling as is totally Haraam. (Shaami 6/403)
Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’an:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالْأَنْصَابُ وَالْأَزْلَامُ رِجْسٌ مِنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَنْ يُوقِعَ بَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَاءَ فِي الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ وَيَصُدَّكُمْ عَنْ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَعَنِ الصَّلَاةِ فَهَلْ أَنْتُمْ مُنْتَهُونَ
O you who believe, wine, gambling, altars, and divining arrows are an abomination of the devil’s work, so stay away from it so that you may be successful. The devil wishes only to plant enmity and malice between you through wine and gambling, and to prevent you from the remembrance of Allah and from Salah. Would you, then, abstain? (Maaidah 90/91)
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa
This answer was collected from TheMufti.com, which is a fatwa portal managed by Mufti Ismaeel Bassa from South Africa.