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Pope asked Blatter to use football to promote peace in the world and help the poor

Saturday, November 23rd 2013 - 06:17 UTC
Full article 2 comments
Blatter presented the Pope with a jersey reading his name Blatter presented the Pope with a jersey reading his name

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter was granted a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican at lunchtime on Friday. During the discussions, the Holy Father asked FIFA to use football to promote peace in the world and to help the poor.

 “The Holy Father personally asked me to emphasize the role that football can play in educating young people, and also in promoting world peace,“ said the FIFA President after the audience.

”We both love football, and of course we talked about football too. We are fully aware of our responsibility and know that we can bring people together and make the world a better place through our activities. The Pope firmly believes that football can play a key role in that.”

In addition to some gifts, the FIFA President presented Pope Francis with an edition of The FIFA Weekly publication in Latin, which was produced exclusively for the Pope. “It was a wonderful moment for me,“ said President Blatter. ”I had butterflies in my stomach before the audience“.

”I not only met the Catholic Church’s highest representative, but above all a man who exudes an incredible aura of calmness and dignity. I will forever cherish my memories of this meeting“

In a more light side of the meeting Blatter admitted to telling the Pope that ”in football we have 300 million active participants and if you include their family that makes it 1.2 billion people. And Pope Francs replied, don’t be modest, I have no more than one billion followers.”

Blatter described the meeting as one of two “sportsmen”, the two men shared memories of the former Real Madrid ace, Argentine great Alfredo di Stefano, who is a friend of football fan Francis. They also spoke of the fact that the pope is a supporter of Argentine side San Lorenzo.

At one point, he also asked the pope if the founder of the Jesuit order, St Ignatius Loyola, would not be displeased with him because he had chosen the name Francis as pope. To which the pope replied: “No, no, he will understand . . .”

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • ChrisR

    Dear God, Blatter the crook!

    From an atheist.

    Nov 23rd, 2013 - 05:58 pm 0
  • Britworker

    I often wonder if Man Utd and Man City players when they are blasting around the Cheshire countryside in their Audi R8's, if they are thinking of the poor.

    What a pile of shit.

    Nov 24th, 2013 - 08:34 am 0
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