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Pope rues big-business aspects of soccer competition

May 02, 2014

The prominence of soccer competition “requires social responsibility on the part of players, both on and off the pitch,” Pope Francis said as he met on May 2 with players and managers from two Italian teams: Fiorentina and Napoli.

“Always be true sportsmen,” the Pope admonished the athletes, reminding them of the impact that their behavior has on their young fans.

Pope Francis recalled the “glorious” days that he had spent in his youth, watching local teams in Argentina. He expressed regret that soccer is now a big business. “But the economic aspect must not prevail in sport, as it risks contaminating it all,” he said.


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