Sport, without spin, from around the world. Matthew Hall considers the issues behind the headlines and tells the stories that others don't.
Mohammed and the Schalke girls
Football songs have been around since the game began. So should they be changed in the name of political correctness?
Mohammed, I am informed, was apparently a prophet.
If you're Muslim, that much is agreed about the founder of Islam.
But according to fans of Schalke, the German Bundesliga team, Mohammed also "knew nothing about football but of all the beautiful colours, he chose blue and white."
So goes a terrace song as gustily performed by Schalke supporters at matches, as football supporters around the world like to do.
Mohammed as a Schalke supporter? Having watched football across the Arab world, where on occasion an imam provided Allah-inspired commentary from a minaret as a match took place below, I'm not so sure.
But the Prophet's football allegiance, unfortunately, is not what has caused some problems.
Schalke's song, ("White and blue, how I love you,"), is pretty much like that of many other teams.
The gist is that Schalke is a great team, blah, blah, blah, and the local girls are beautiful, which I'm sure they are. But it's the song's third verse with its reference to Mohammed that has recently caused trouble.
It goes something like this, according to an official version of the song, taken from the club's website.
Blue and white, how I love you
Blue and white, forever true
Blue and white is just like heaven born
Blue and white are the colours we have always worn
If we had a kingdom for us to make
It would resemble Schalke and no mistake
All the girls, oh so young and fair
Would sport a blue and white ribbon tied up in her hair
Mohammed was a prophet who
Knew nothing of football, that much is true
But of all the colours shining bright
The ones he thought up were our royal blue and white
A thousand fires in the night
Have brought us lots of pleasure and delight
A thousand friends all standing side by side
Will make sure FC Schalke will never die
Never mind that the song has been around since 1924 - 85 years - Turkish media recently picked up on the lyrics, made something of a fuss, and some Muslims are now so outraged that the club has been targeted with threats.
Schalke, in the industrial city of Gelsenkirchen, received some 350 protest emails, many from Muslim fans of the club who make up a sizeable contingent of Schalke’s support.
Gelsenkirchen's population is around 30 per cent immigrants, many originally from Turkey. There are several Muslim players in the Schalke squad. But, probably sensibly, not every Muslim was outraged.
"I don't see any malicious intent or direct blasphemy," said Aiman Mazyek, the General Secretary of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, according to DeutcheWelle.
"[But] the words used might cause some people to go red in the face with anger."
"There won't be a call from us to ban the song," Mazyek said, "but rather an explanation of its background."
Former cigar-smoking Schalke coach Rudi Assauer, rarely afraid of controversy, also got out his hose.
"The song is age old," Assauer told German newspaper Bild. "Both sides should sit down and discuss this, we're all sensible people."
Blaspheming Mohamed's name is not encouraged in Islam which, as neither a Muslim, Jew, Christian, Buddhist, or even Scientologist, can be respected by this column.
But if the Big Guy knew little about football, according to some Schalke fans, is that such a big deal?
Who knew football smarts, or the lack of them, could inspire such outrage.
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