A reader sent me the following story.
Ancona, 3 Oct. (AKI) – Italy’s Catholic bishops are crying foul about onfield behaviour after their purchase of a professional Italian football team.
The Episcopal Italian Conference (CEI) recently purchased an 80 per cent stake in the professional team of Ancona which comes from the central Italian town on the Adriatic coast.
The CEI has invited a group of Catholic businessmen to manage the team and is looking at a new ethical code to get rid of intolerance on the football field, according to the Italian newspaper La Stampa.
“It is a way of moralising football, bringing a few ethics to an area that is going through a crisis of values,” said Ancona’s archbishop Edoardo Menichelli.
The new owners of the team, also known as “the team of priests” want to punish acts of intolerance, extreme fouls and introduce novel forms of punishment such as voluntary work for unacceptable onfield behaviour.
Managers and fans will also be expected to follow the ethical code. Fans will have to refrain from “improper” conduct against rival fans and using offensive banners.
Direct Kick Foul gives the other team not only a free kick but the fouling player is assigned one or more Rosary mysteries depending on the severity of the foul. Soccer already has a penalty box so why couldn’t an on-field confessional be used for serious soccer sins? Though this would surely violate canons regarding the sacrament, it would be interesting to see players receive additional fines for impenitence.