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 »  Home  »  Religion  »  No "Hand of God" Goals in Priests' European Cup
No "Hand of God" Goals in Priests' European Cup
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  02/16/2007 | Sports , Religion | Unrated
Priests Trade Cassocks for Cleats for Soccer Tournament
No "Hand of God" goals in priests' European cup

By Daria Sito-Sucic
Priests from Poland celebrate after scoring against Croatia in the finals of European championship for Catholic priests in Sarajevo February 14, 2007. A hundred Roman Catholic priests from all over Europe swapped their cassocks for football strips in Sarajevo this week to compete in an indoor soccer championship organised by the church. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj (BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA)
Reuters via Yahoo! News-Feb 14 2:34 PM

SARAJEVO, Feb 14 (Reuters) - A hundred Roman Catholic priests from all over Europe swapped their cassocks for football strips in Sarajevo this week to compete in an indoor soccer championship organised by the church.

"We are here because we love soccer," said Father Zarko Relota, captain of tournament favourites Croatia, which won both previous championships.
"We are absolutely going to win again," he said during his team's presentation at the opening ceremony.

As the games kicked off, the priests, proudly sporting national colours, showed off their tackling and dribbling skills in front of crowds of Catholic seminarians.

Luckily for the referees there was no reptition of a 1986 World Cup match when Argentinian Diego Maradona surreptitiously scored using his hand. The controversial goal, which was allowed, was described after the game by Maradona as "a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God".


Bosnian girls wearing traditional clothes hold medals as priests from Poland and Croatia compete in the finals of the European championship for Catholic priests in Sarajevo February 14, 2007. A hundred Roman Catholic priests from all over Europe swapped their cassocks for football strips in Sarajevo this week to compete in an indoor soccer championship organised by the church. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj (BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA)
Reuters via Yahoo! News-Feb 14 2:38 PM
In Sarajevo's sports hall an action-packed game saw Croatia edge Portugal 11-10 on penalties while Bosnia went down to Poland 0-1 in front of cheering nuns.

"The motto of this championship is 'Meeting through Sport'," said Monsignor Ivo Tomasevic of Bosnia's Archbishopric, which is hosting the tournament.

"The idea is to meet as brothers and sisters, as humans, to reach unity through the game," he said.

As part of their stay, the priests visited Sarejevo's "Little Jerusalem" -- the downtown quartet of Orthodox Church, ancient mosque, synagogue and Catholic cathedral, all still intact despite the ravages of the 1992-95 Bosnia war.

"It is very important to us to present what is good in this country, because it has been shown in media only in relation with its war and post-war problems," Tomasevic told Reuters.

Catholic communities from Austria, Bosnia, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain were taking part in the annual contest, now in its third year.

Source: Source: http://football.guardian.co.uk/breakingnews/feedstory/0,,-6415575,00.html

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