Sports / Other Sports / 

Pope Francis confirms World Cup neutrality

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jun. 13, 2014 at 8:20 a.m.



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — He recently renewed his Argentine passport and remains an official card-carrying member of his favorite Buenos Aires football club. But Pope Francis has pledged absolute neutrality for the World Cup.

Francis recalled during an interview published Friday with the Barcelona newspaper "La Vanguardia," that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff had asked him during a February visit to the Vatican to at least be neutral during the competition.

Laughing, Francis said: "The Brazilians asked for neutrality. I'll keep my word because Brazil and Argentina are always opponents."

On Thursday, Francis issued a video message pep talk to players and fans alike, urging them to make the World Cup a showcase for teamwork and solidarity and not an exhibition of racism, individualism and greed.

Argentina plays its first match Sunday, against Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast