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Pope to World Cup: Overcome racism, greed in sport

06:18 PM June 12, 2014

Pope Francis AP FILE PHOTO

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has a message for the World Cup: Let football be a showcase for teamwork and solidarity, not an exhibition of racism and greed.

The Argentine-born, football-loving pope recorded a video message that will be broadcast on Brazilian television ahead of Thursday’s opening match.

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In it, Francis said football teaches three lessons that can promote peace and solidarity: the need to train and work hard to reach goals, the importance of fair play and teamwork, and the need to respect and honor opponents.

He said: “To win, one must overcome individualism, selfishness, all forms of racism, intolerance and manipulation of people.” He said being “greedy” in football, as in life, is an obstacle.

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“Let nobody turn their back on society and feel excluded!” he said. “No to segregation! No to racism!”

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TAGS: Brazil, Pope Francis, Racism, Rio de Janeiro., Vatican City, World Cup
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