Non-Violent Soccer Team Named After Pope Francis Gets Two Red Cards in First Game

A soccer team named after Pope Francis and established to promote non-violence played its first game in Argentina on Saturday. Four players were sent off.

The team is called Papa Francisco FC and is semi-professional club playing in the Argentine lower leagues. Its inaugural game, against Trefules, finished 2-2 — in goals as well as in red cards.

Of course, the club has no official ties with the pope. It was founded by Jorge Ramirez outside Buenos Aires, and is more a tribute than anything else.

“Our motto is no hooligans, no violence and no insults,” Ramirez said. He didn’t mention red cards.

The pope himself is an avid San Lorenzo fan. San Lorenzo won the title in December 2013, just 18 months after facing relegation. Credit lucky coincidence or divine intervention that its rise coincided with Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s papacy.