Al-Azhar grand imam invited to speak at World Cup
Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb was invited by Brazilian ambassador to Cairo Marco Brandão on Tuesday
The grand imam of Egypt’s al-Azhar, an institute recognized as a global authority in Islamic teaching, has been invited to speak during the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Egypt-based al-Shorouk reported.
Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb was invited by Brazilian ambassador to Cairo Marco Brandão on Tuesday to participate in the football World Cup, set to run from June 12- July 13.
Brandão affirmed the important role that the institution plays in spreading the principles of Islam.
“The invitation represents a global recognition of the significant role of Al Azhar in establishing principals of moderate Islam amid the notable increase of terrorism,” said Brandão, according to al-Shorouk.
Mohammad Mehanna, adviser to grand imam, told The Cairo Post that the invitation “emphasizes the fact that the moderate Islamic concepts of al-Azhar are honored by the whole world.”
“Islam calls on practicing sports to keep the body fit and healthy. Millions of people will watch this great event and will get to know more about Islam through the speech of the Grand Imam,” said Mehanna.
The reported invitation comes one month after FIFA announced that there will be no speeches at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in June.
Last year, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was jeered at by fans at the opening match of the Confederations Cup - a curtain-raiser for the World Cup.