Non-Violent Argentinian Football Team Named After Pope Francis Plays First Match, 2 Players Immediately Sent Off Due to Bad Behaviour
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | April 15, 2014 2:40 PM EST
To be branded as a non-violent team is already hard. More so if the team had been named after the sitting spiritual pontiff of the Roman Catholic faith. It means that the players of Papa Francisco football team have to be attuned to the traits that Pope Francis has continuously exuded, which are humility and simplicity.
Pope Francis sprinkles holy water with an aspergillum as a blessing during the Palm Sunday mass at Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican April 13, 2014. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
"It will be a complicated thing if we insult others," midfielder Fabian Gaddi said. But if in case the players do forget and commit something bad, "the pope is Argentine and he knows and understands us."
Football in Argentina is known for its violent colours. In fact, the Argentine Football Association has long been criticised for doing little to eradicate the building violent culture.
True enough, on its first game, the semi-professional team lost the cool and saintly demeanour afforded to its namesake. Two of its players were sent off, as well as two others from rival team Trefules.
Pope Francis has no official connection to the Papa Francisco club, despite being an avid football fan and a supporter of Buenos Aires club San Lorenzo.
Jorge Ramirez, an admirer of the pope, was the one who founded the Papa Francisco team, shortly after Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was named supreme pontiff. The Papa Francisco football team has 47 members.
"Our motto is no hooligans, no violence and no insults," Ramirez said.
The Papa Francisco football team played its first match in Lujan, a site revered by local Roman Catholics. The famous Basilica of Our Lady of Lujan could be seen from the playing field.
Gaddi and his teammates acknowledged it is difficult to maintain decorum and to be always on their best behaviour.
Nonetheless they said they will try.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
Join the Conversation
- Jules Bianchi Latest Update: F1 Driver's Father Says Son In A Desperate Situation
- Floyd Mayweather Trains Justin Bieber In The Boxing Ring
- Jules Bianchi Latest Update: Driver's Mother Says People 'Shirking Responsibility' About The Accident
- Novak Djokovic Aims For World No. 1 Rank In 2015, Becker Says
- Chelsea FC: Thibaut Courtois Thanks Cech For Tips Following Injury Scare, Not Ready To Relinquish No. 1 Spot
- iOS 8 Jailbreak Release Date Likely this October 2014 with Pangu not Evad3rs Firming Up as Creator
- Chilling: New ISIS Video Addresses Australia; Aussie Teen Delivers Message
- Xiaomi Mi4 And MiPad Prices Likely Slashed, Thanks To Rivals Oppo, OnePlus And Meizu
- Top 4 Free-To-Download Apps for Fuller iPhone 6, 6 Plus Experience
- Battery Saving Android 5.0 Lollipop Feature Extends The Battery Life Of Your Android Device By 90 Minutes And Displays Orange Bar While Power Saving Mode Is On
- Apple Inc. (AAPL) Stock Set to Soar Beyond $100 Despite Decline After New iPad Launch
- Russia Beefs Up Gold Reserves To Offset Heat of Sanctions And Undercut Dollar