Football players make statement about religious harmony while celebrating goal

Football players make statement about religious harmony while celebrating goal
(Web Desk) – Three Indonesian football players have put across a strong message of peace while celebrating a goal during a local league match.

During a match last month between Bali United and Borneo FC, the former s Hindu defender Ngurah Nanak, Christian forward Yabes Roni and Muslim striker Miftahul Hamdi each celebrated a goal by Yabes Roni in a position of prayer as is done in their respective religions.

This act by the three players of different faiths was apparently meant to portray a message of peace and harmony between people of different religions. The political statement was captured by a photographer and was later shared on Bali United s Facebook page last Monday.

The photo s caption read, “Because different beliefs will not prevent us from achieving the same goals.”

In an interview with Indonesian news agency Kompas.com, striker Yabes Roni said, “Even though we all come from different religions and ethnicities, we’re all one. We have to protect the country’s harmony and stay united.”

Moreover, the photographer who captured the photo, Miftahuddin Halim said that he was “glad that [the] photo serves as an example for people. Soccer can unite the country.”

The picture comes at a time when the world is becoming increasingly divided on religious lines. With terrorist attacks occurring across the globe carried out by organizations that claim an association with Islam, resentment against Muslims is rising. People of various faiths have started blaming whole religious communities for an act of terror committed by one of their members. In such a time, acts like these are much needed for people to stay together. The act is the perfect physical manifestation of the phrase, “To each his own”.

FIFA has not yet commented on the players celebration. According to FIFA s rules, players are not disallowed from celebrating with religious gestures. However, while they may act out a religious gesture, and many players do so, they may not display any political, religious or personal slogans on their undergarments and other equipment during the match.

This article originally appeared in The Washington Post.

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