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.
Top Un: North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un is Maverick as he poses with all-female pilot crew of the Anti-Air Force Unit
Belle Knox: How the porn star student from Duke University became bigger than Justin Bieber
Top 10 most expensive cities in the world: Singapore named costliest place to live – but what about London?
Oscar Pistorius trial: Athlete 'cheated on me' with Reeva Steenkamp, former girlfriend Samantha Taylor tells Pretoria court
Channel 4 announces two-hour TV show to be broadcast 'Live from Space' later this month
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 The future of sex: The first female condoms were derided, mistrusted and shunned - but will their modern counterparts catch on?
- 2 South African rhino finally put down after roaming Kruger park for days with horn hacked off and bullet in brain
- 3 Italian pensioner hires an escort who turns out to be his son's girlfriend
- 4 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role to marry Natasha Richardson
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...