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Don’t curse the ref! He’s a priest!

Vincenzo Pinto | AFP

Twelfth edition of Rome's Clericus Cup will have 16 priest/seminarian teams.

The 12th edition of the famous Clericus Cup will begin on February 24 in Rome. This soccer championship will pit against each other 16 teams of priests and seminarians from around the world.

For the first time, the Holy See announced, the position of referee will be occupied by a priest.

The Clericus Cup is organized in partnership with the Pontifical Council for the Laity, which has been associated since 2013 with the Pontifical Council for Culture. Vatican Radio Italy sponsors the event.

During last year’s competition, the Pontifical Urban University’s team won the competition. In the final, it beat the Pontifical Gregorian University’s team 2 to 0.

This sporting competition is largely the idea of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, a football lover who pushed for the creation of this event when he was Benedict XVI’s secretary of state.

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