Cassocks for goalposts: Cardinal plans Vatican FC
Tuesday 19 December 2006
Footballers across Italy were throwing punches and dodging coins at the weekend. But if there is any truth in the redemptive power of religion, that could all change when the Vatican fields its own professional team, in the papal yellow and white strip.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone is the new Secretary of State, the number two in the Holy See. He is also a passionate football fan - a Juventus supporter since his days as a Salesian seminarian in Turin - and the only cardinal to have commentated on the sport on the radio.
On Sunday, the cardinal let journalists in on his little dream. "I don't exclude the possibility that in the future the Vatican could field a football team of the greatest value, at the level of the most famous professional clubs," he said.
He appeared to leave open the question of whether the Vatican side would compete as a club or as a national team.
The raw material was in place, the cardinal pointed out. "If, for example, we took all the Brazilian students from our pontifical universities, we could make a magnificent team," he said.
William Gaillard, a spokesman for Uefa, the governing body of European football, backed the cardinal's idea. He said: "The Vatican is a sovereign state recognised by the UN, and we would have no problem in accepting it as a member."
Home games might be a problem, however. As the area of the Vatican state is only 0.2 square miles, a stadium would require the demolition of St Peter's. Even the cardinal is not proposing that.
- 1 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
- 2 Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
- 3 Mother 'will allow son's circumcision in return for release from prison'
- 5 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
Warren Buffett thinks the poor should stop blaming inequality on the rich
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...