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L'Osservatore Romano

‘United for Peace’ Soccer Match Just Under a Month Away

Players hope to sell out Rome’s Olympic Stadium

The soccer game “United for Peace” will be held in Rome’s Olympic Stadium on October 12, announced Jose Maria del Corral, Director of the Pontifical Foundation Scholas Occurrentes, during a press conference held at Vatican Radio last week.

In the presentation, Monsignor Sanchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences, pointed out that one of the greatest goods in societies is peace and that, at a time when a third world war is unfolding in pieces, as Pope Francis has often said, it is very important to hold a game of this sort, which gives a concrete example, especially to the young.

This charitable event will help the educational programs of several institutions: the Scholas Occurrentes Foundation, the Italian Sports Center, UNITALSI and AMLIB.

These projects will focus, in particular, on the integration of young people, such as UNITALSI’s, which will be geared to adolescents and children of families affected by sicknesses and by the recent earthquake in Amatrice, in central Italy.

Scholas Occurrentes will also work in Colombia, to help to integrate young people after the Peace Agreement is signed between the country’s Government and FARC.

This is the second soccer game, with the Pope’s approval, in which famous players will take part, some active and others retired of different countries and religions.

Attending the presentation were Daniele Pasquini, Director of CSI Lazio; Alessandro Pinna, Director of UNITALSI; Father Matteo Galloni, President of AMLIB, and Rome’s players Leandro Paredes, Diego Perotti, Juan Manuel Iturbe and the midfield player of Lazio, Lucas Biglia.

Diego Perotti said: “we soccer players must be on the Pope’s side and take advantage of the event to help,” adding that they hope to fill the Olympic Stadium and that “having an Argentine Pope is a point in <our> favor and we invite all for the 12th to a game that will be lovely.”

So, after the suspension of the game last June in Buenos Aires, given the bicentenary of Argentina’s Independence, the new date and place of the game have now been confirmed.

The suspension happened shortly after Scholas Occurrentes declined a US$16.6 million donation by the government of President Mauricio Macri on June 9, to avoid — as explained in a press release — “confusion and division among Argentines.”

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