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     Home > Culture and Society  >  2014-05-02 16:19:45
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Pope urges responsibility in football to preserve values



May 02, 2014 - ‎Pope Francis on Friday urged that football be able to regain and maintain its sporting values, warning ‎that overriding economic factors could end up polluting every level of the game. The Pope made the ‎observation on Friday when he met Italy’s Fiorentina and Napoli soccer teams along with a delegation ‎from the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and the Seria A league. The meeting came two day before Fiorentina and Napoli meet in Italy's Cup final at the Olimpico Stadium in Rome.
Pope francis noted that football in Italy, as ‎in Argentina and in other countries, is a social event, and calls for social responsibility both on the part of ‎the players on and off the field, as well as on the part of national and local football officials. He said he ‎still recalls wonderful memories as a youngster when he went to watch matches on Sundays with his ‎family. “I would like to wish that football and every popular sport regain the festive dimension,” he ‎said. Noting that football today is involved in big business, with advertisements, television, etc., Pope ‎Francis urged that the economic factor should not override the sporting spirit, or else there is the risk of ‎polluting everything, whether at the international, national or local level. Hence there is need to act ‎positively from the top, restoring sporting dignity to events. And in this, the Pope said, footballers ‎have a great responsibility. He reminded them that they are the focus of attention especially young fans, ‎and wished they be truly sporting, as their behavior has an echo, whether good or bad. The Holy Father ‎explained that sports has a strong educative value for the growth of a person – personal growth in ‎spiritual and physical harmony, and social growth in solidarity, loyalty and respect. “May football ‎always be able to develop this potentiality,” the Pope wished. ‎




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