The two top religions of Italy – Catholicism and football are coming together in a first time international championship for student priests called the Clericus Cup.It has been organised by the Vatican and an Italian sports body and is set for kick off on saturday.Clergy from 50 states attending Rome’s many seminaries will be among those participating.There are 16 teams in the tournament, fielding 311 athletes from countries including the United States, Brazil, Papua New Guinea and Rwanda.And in case things get out of hand during the games the Ref will have a “blue card”to get things back in order.
The blue card will be used to send off players who foul. They will be allowed to return to the field after a five minutes cooling off period during which they are supposed reflect on what they have done. ( or maybe take a quick trip to the nearest confessional ……!)
Italian soccer has been mired in riots and scandals and killings of late.There is a desperate need to make the point that ” good football that is played according to the rules can make parishes a place where the young can meet again.” The hope is that the clergymen from 50 nations can bring back faith to soccer ..and amen to that.