A delegation of the Italian Referee Association went to Vatican City and gave a shirt to “referee” Pope Francis.
The delegation who came to the audience with the pope consisted of he head of the referee organisation Marcello Nicchi, head of Serie A refereeing Stefano Braschi and the refereeing team of the Italian cup final, played Saturday evening. That were (assistant) referees Padovan, Liberti, Valeri, Di Liberatore, Braschi, Orsato (center ref), Massa and Doveri.
“The sport itself has’ a strong value for personal growth”, the Pope told the referees. “Personal growth, harmony of body and spirit, and social growth in solidarity, loyalty and respect. Football can always develop this potential.”
Pope Francis got a shirt with his original last name Bergoglio on it. Photo’s below are courtesy of the AIA and published with permission (thanks for that!).