Blessed are those who are about to venture into the world of soccer with the mission of spreading a gospel of peace and non-violence, on-and-off the field.
Recently founded team Papa Francisco FC pays tribute to former Buenos Aires archbishop Jorge Bergoglio, better known in the Roman-Catholic circles as Pope Francis, by sporting the white & yellow Vatican colors and promoting a message that is clear on the club's motto: No hooligans, no violence and no insults. But the divine team fell from grace in their debut and their performance on the field was short from pious, as they drew 2-2 against local Buenos Aires team Trefules in a match that saw two players from each side get sent off.
Founder Jorge Ramirez, an avid Pope supporter, saw it upon himself to summon like-minded people and become an alternative to the violence that has plagued Argentine soccer as of late. This especially happens in the lower leagues, where the famous ultras, or as they are known in the Patagonia "Barras Bravas", run wild, with little or none retaliation by the Argentinian Football Association (AFA).
The AFA has come under heavy criticism by their lukewarm stance and lack of effort on eradicating the rampant pathological barbarity from the nation that has given us legendary figures like Diego Maradona (who actually has a close relationship with God), Jose Manuel 'Charro' Moreno, Alfredo di Stefano and most recently Lionel Messi, among others.
Ramirez and his group hope to become the voice of reason in Argentina's lower leagues in hopes that their flock can be an example of sportsmanship throughout the nation. To do that it would best serve the team from Providence to take it down a notch or two themselves before heading back on the field. The Pope ambassadors did not fail to acknowledge the scenario, as their midfielder commented.