The issue of whether God is interested in football or not has been a controversial subject amongst religious folks and sports commentators for a long time. Today, I thank God I have grown and gained knowledge and understanding to also contribute to the debate. I hope this will bring a lot of clarity to the subject.
I don’t think God is concerned about football. The things he is concerned about are in the scriptures. However, I do believe that God cares about how football makes us feel because his name is Abba father and we are his children. We serve a God who can be touched by our feelings. So it is written: For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin. (Hebrews 4:15)“
Let us consider our earthly fathers here on earth. Most of them buy a football for their young sons. Some of them don’t even love football and have never played football before but they buy a football for their kids because they believe it is going to make them happy. So it is not about the football, it is about the joy and happiness the football brings to his son and he feels proud to watch his son play with the ball on the compound. However, God says that If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:11). This should tell us that God cares about our happiness even more than we care for the happiness of our children. For God is love.
So God may not care about football but he cares about how football makes us feel (You must understand this). God is happy when he sees that his children are happy because they have won a football match. But is God sad when he sees that his children are sad because they have lost a football match? Certainly not. Because it is a sport and a game. There is going to be a winner and a loser. The fact that one team has lost won’t stop God from being happy for the team who won. Because both the winner and the loser are all his children. If God wanted the team who lost to win he would have influenced the game to favour the team who lost. But God does not interfere in football.
Football is man’s creation and God created man to be free with choices. So he won’t interfere with football results. God will only interfere in a football result when he wants to use it for his purpose because he is sovereign. So God becomes interested in football only when there is something in it for him. God can decide to help a certain country win an important football match because there is tension in that country and God wants to ease that tension and bring the people together. Or like how God used football which is a contact sport to defy social distancing during the pandemic. There are a lot of reasons why God may influence a football game but generally, more often than not, God does not influence football matches. Otherwise, he will be defeating his standard principles of hard work, preparation, dedication, justice, and the fact that he created man as a free being.
Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. That is why those who invest much in football and strategize well and acquire good football players usually win. Teams like Argentina, Germany, Brazil, France, Italy, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Man City, Bayern Munich and PSG will continue to win a lot of their matches because football is more about investment, preparation, planning, dedication, hard work and tactics than prayers. Prayers come in just to give us a psychological boost and to give us hope into the game knowing we have prayed and so God will help us win. But in actual fact, God does not interfere. If he is ever going to interfere, then it will be for his purpose and agenda and will and not because of man’s desire. After all, the other team is also praying to win.