- Upon winning the Vatican's annual soccer championship last week, the victorious team honored Christians in Egypt who have faced increasingly brutal persecution in recent years. .
“I would like to dedicate this trophy to our friends from the Coptic Church,” said Deacon Sama Joan Romeo of Cameroon, the team captain of the Urban Lions.
Catholic seminarians and clergy drew soccer teams from the pontifical universities and colleges of Rome May 27 for the 13th annual Clericus Cup competition.
African players are heavily represented on the team from the Pontifical Urban University, nicknamed “The Lions of Africa.” They hail from countries including Uganda, Cameroon, Tanzania and Botswana.
“All the world is playing in the field, not so much to highlight the word of soccer, as that of the Gospel,” Alborghetti said.
Over 400 players competed, but the May 27 finals came down to two teams: one from the Pontifical Gregorian University, called “Gregoriana,” the other from the Pontifical Urban University, the “Urban Lions.”