Thursday, October 04, 2007

Feet of Clay?

Call them The Saints?

The Vatican has pledged to clean up Italian football after buying its own club.

The Italian Bishop's Conference now has a controlling stake in AC Ancona, currently top of Italy's third division, after the money was provided by a group of Roman Catholic businessmen.

Edoardo Menichelli, the Archbishop of Ancona, said the move would help bring more morality into football.

"We want to bring some ethics back into the game, which has been undergoing a grave crisis in terms of sportsmanship," he said.

The Vatican aims to introduce an ethical code which will punish Ancona's players for any foul play.

....Fans will be forbidden from taunting and insulting the opposition, and from unfurling offensive banners and flags.

....Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's secretary of state, is a fanatical football fan and has openly spoken about his ambition to create a football team of priests.

Last year, he established the Clericus Cup tournament for priests and seminarians in Rome.

The tournament was widely seen as a success, although there was rather more dirty play than anticipated.

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