The game of football and many other sports have been a big unifying factor that has binded Nigeria together for many years.

From time immemorial, games have always been seen as a form of exercise and recreational activities through which relaxation and amusement are derived.

For many people, playing games is the only way through which the shackle of loneliness is broken and a veritable avenue to spice up a dull life.

But on Sunday, an Islamic Scholar in Ondo, Alhaj Usman Abayomi bluntly condemned the act saying it will have negative effects on the practice of Islamic religion.

Alhaj Abayomi, who has been the Chief Missioner of Islamic religion in Idanre for many decades, gave this warning while discussing with members of the Dawatul Islamiyat Society at the Central Mosque, Odode Idanre, Ondo State.

He said: "there is no way one can play games without being mischievous, full of mockery, selfish, nursing an evil thought, cracking bad jokes and foolish jests which the holy Prophet Mohammed condemned in the Holy Qur'an."

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The teaching has however generated conflicting views even among the Muslims across the state.

Lukman Adebayo said he has been practicing Islamic religion from birth and he has never come across that verse in his Quran.

"I don't know where it is stated in the Quran that Muslim should not play game. Maybe I have not read my own Quran to that page, but all I know is that I have been a Muslim from birth and i have never seen it or heard of it in anywhere."

Mariam Akinyemi on her part believes that it is something of the mind.

"You don't have to play game before you engage in mischievous activities. It comes from the mind. There are lots of 419 in the society today that don't play games. There are several armed robbers in the community that don't even have the time to play games because they strategies during the day and carry out their operations at night.

"So where will they have the time to play game? I don't believe in that kind of theory. Either you play game or not, it doesn't stop you from doing whatever you have in mind to do."

Marcus Adebisi, a Christian however said every religion has its own beliefs.

"If that is what his religion tells him, nobody can question him on that. I'm sure he must have done his research before he can come up with that theory.

"He is an Islamic scholar, so he is an authority in his own right. It now depends on the perception of his followers about the teaching" he said.

Alhaj Abayomi believes that the world is changing and leading many to water down their beliefs and what Allah commanded through the Holy Prophet Mohammed.

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