Clericus Cup

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Clericus Cup
Clericus Cup Logo.jpg
Official Clericus Cup Logo
Founded 2007
Number of teams 16
Current champions Pontifical North American College
Most successful club(s) Redemptoris Mater
(3 times)
6th Season (completed)

The Clericus Cup is an annual association football tournament contested by teams from the Roman Colleges, which are seminaries of the Catholic Church located in Rome. During the fourth season (2010), the tournament involved sixteen schools and fielded players from 65 countries, with the majority coming from Brazil, Italy, Mexico, and the United States of America.[1] The players are normally seminarians studying to be Roman Catholic priests. A handful of players are ordained priests. The annual tournament is organized by the Centro Sportivo Italiano (CSI). The league was founded in 2007, and matches for the seventh season will begin in early 2013.

Officially, the goal of the league is to "reinvigorate the tradition of sport in the Christian community"[2] and has been called the "clerical equivalent of soccer’s World Cup."[3] In other words, it exists to provide a venue for friendly athletic competition among the thousands of seminarians, representing nearly a hundred countries, who study in Rome. The league is the brainchild of the Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone, who is an unapologetic football fan.[4][5] While some press outlets hinted that the Church hoped to offer a brand of football free of football hooliganism, the reality is that play on the field is intensely competitive. The teams that regularly contend for the eight play-off spots are, on the field, fierce rivals.

The league[edit]

This competition had its beginnings in 2003 when Jim Mulligan, a seminarian at the Pontifical Beda College, founded a knockout tournament involving eight international teams from the Rome Seminary Colleges. This competition was then called THE ROME CUP. The first match in the competition took place in May 2003 between the Pontifical Beda College and The Venerable English College. (It was won 5 - 2 by the English College.) Fr Jim Mulligan is now a priest in the Archdiocese of Westminster, London and continues his sporting activities carrying out sponsored abseils and parachute jumps to raise money for various Church projects.

The 2009 season drew 16 teams, representing 15 international seminaries, plus the Gregorian University. The league is divided into two sides or divisions: Division A and Division B. In 2009, Division A included four national seminaries (The Pontifical North American College, The Brazilian College, The French College, The Polish Institute) and two international colleges (San Paolo and Mater Ecclesiae). The Italian College of Sant'Anselmo, and the multinational Gregorian University rounded out Division A.[6]

Division B included the Mexican College, The Pontifical Roman Seminary, the Urbanianum (which fields players primarily from Africa and East Asia), as well as the religious institutes Augustinianum, Sedes Sapientiae, Redemptoris Mater, and Guanelliani Internazionale (The Servants of Charity). Two schools, Almo Collegio Capranica and Pio Latino merged to field the team Almo-Pio.[7]

The first season was played from February to May 2007. The second season began in November in of 2007 and finished on May 3, 2008. The regular season games were played at Oratorio San Pietro, on the Via di Santa Maria Mediatrice, 24.[8] The third season was played from February to May 2009 with Redemptoris Mater winning the championship against the Pontifical North American College. The fourth season was played from February to May 2010 with the championship game again consisting of Redemptoris Mater against the Pontifical North American College. Redemptoris Mater won the championship game, 1–0, against the North American College, the same score as in 2009. The fifth season of the Clericus Cup will begin in February 2011.

During the second season, the inaugural and final match were held at the site of the 1960 Summer Olympics: the Stadio dei Marmi in Rome. In the third season, the opening game was officiated by one of Italy's top referees, Stefano Farina.[9]

News coverage[edit]

The blue card is used for a 5-minute bench penalty for unsportsmanlike play.

Despite the league's amateur status, it has attracted the attention of the professional football community. The president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) called the inauguration of Clericus Cup III (the 2009 season) "evidence of success" of the league.[10] In 2009, the major Italian newspapers covered the league as a novelty - including Corriere della Sera, Il Giornale, Corriere dello Sport, and the anti-clerical La Repubblica. Newsweek's Russian edition reported favorably on the league, noting that many football players and fans "are believers."[11] A video featuring a player from the Urbanium's team is available on the web.[12] Voice of America reported on the North American College's road to the championship game in 2009.

In the first two seasons, international newspapers often focused on events peripheral to the game itself. During the Clericus Cup II season, several international newspapers found the hyper-enthusiasm of the fans newsworthy. Redemptoris Mater's club, in particular, generated a very noisy fan base. The Pontifical North American College also employed a megaphone that annoyed both opposing players and neighbors alike. This led the local government to pass an ordinance banning the use of tambourines, percussion instruments, and loud speakers during morning hours - when most of the league's games are played.[13][14][15] The media coverage has increased the profile of the league, whose talent continues to improve each year.

The British press is fascinated by the Cup's use of a blue card, which British reporters labelled "the sin bin."[16][17] Instead of the red and yellow cards, the blue card is a 5 minute bench penalty for unsportsmanlike play.[18]

Championship results: 2007–2013[edit]

Year Final Third Place Match
Winner Score Runner-up 3rd Place Score 4th Place
2007 Redemptoris Mater 1–0 Pontifical Lateran University Mater Ecclesiae 3–1 Sedes Sapientiae
2008 Mater Ecclesiae 2–1 Redemptoris Mater UCro 2–1 Pontifical North American College
2009 Redemptoris Mater 1–0 Pontifical North American College Mater Ecclesiae 2–0 Pontifical Urban University
2010 Redemptoris Mater 1–0 Pontifical North American College Brazilian College 6–1 Guanelliani
2011 Pontifical Gregorian University 3–1 Angelicum Sedes Sapientiae 2–1 Pontifical North American College
2012 Pontifical North American College 3–0 Pontifical Gregorian University Sedes Sapientiae 0–0 (4–3, pk) Mater Ecclesiae
2013 Pontifical North American College 1–0 Mater Ecclesiae Collegio Urbano 1–3 Redemptoris Mater

The teams[edit]

2007–2008 Season[edit]

  • Division A:[19]
    • Redemtoris Mater (Neocatechumenal Way)
    • Sedes Sapientiae (Opus Dei)
    • Pontifical North American College
    • College of Sant'Anselmo
    • Pio Latino Americano College
    • Pontifical College M.I. Apostle Saint Paul
    • Divino Amore
      • Oblates of the "Sons of the Madonna of Divine Love"
    • Pontifical Gallican Seminary
  • Division B:[19]
    • UCRO
      • Ukrainian College
      • Croatian College
    • Pontifical Urban College
    • Mater Ecclesia (Legion of Christ)
    • Roman Major Seminary
    • Salesians of Don Bosco
    • Augustinianum Patristics Institute
    • British Colleges United
      • Pontifical/Venerable English Colleges
      • Pontifical Scots College
    • College Almo Capranica

2009 season[edit]

  • Division A:[20]
    • Mater Ecclesia (Legion of Christ)
    • Pontifical College of Saint Paul
    • Pontifical North American College
    • Pontifical Gregorian University
    • College of Sant'Anselmo
    • Polish Institute
    • Pontifical Gallican Seminary
    • Brazilian College
  • Division B:[20]
    • Pontifical Urban College
    • Guanelliani (Servants of Charity)
    • Redemtoris Mater (Neocatechumenal Way)
    • Augustinianum Patristics Institute
    • Sedes Sapientiae (Opus Dei)
    • Mexican College
    • Roman Major Seminary
    • Almo Pio

2010 season[edit]

  • Division A:[21]
    • Pontifical College of Saint Paul
    • Anglo-Celtic Colleges United
      • Venerable English College
      • Pontifical Irish College
      • Pontifical Scots College
      • Pontifical Beda College
    • College of Sant'Anselmo
    • Polish Institute
    • Pontifical North American College
    • Brazilian College
    • Pontifical Gallican Seminary
    • Redemtoris Mater (Neocatechumenal Way)
  • Division B:[21]
    • Pontifical Urban College
    • Mater Ecclesia (Legion of Christ)
    • Pio Latino Americano College
    • Mexican College
    • Guanelliani (Servants of Charity)
    • Pontifical Gregorian University
    • Roman Major Seminary
    • Sedes Sapientiae (Opus Dei)

2011 season[edit]

  • Division C:[22]
    • Order of Saint Augustine (Agostiniani)
    • Sedes Sapientiae (Opus Dei)
    • Mexican College
    • College Almo Capranica
  • Division D:[22]
    • Pontifical Gregorian University
    • Pontifical Urban College
    • Guanelliani (Servants of Charity)
    • Pio Latino Americano College

2012 season[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.clericuscup.it/public/file/ClericusCup/nazioni2010.pdf
  2. ^ Broadbent, Rick (2007-05-25). "Kakas outpouring of faith brings joy to leaders within Christian community". The Times (London). Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  3. ^ Kerr, David. "United States closing in on 'clerical World Cup' victory". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  4. ^ http://www.lavanguardia.es/deportes/noticias/20090528/53712774317/el-vaticano-bendice-el-futbol-del-barsa.html
  5. ^ "Can priests save Italian football's soul?". BBC News. 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  6. ^ "Clericus Cup I Gironi" (in Italian). CSI. 2009-11-15. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  7. ^ http://www.iltempo.it/2012/12/12/clericus-cup-preti-calciatori-in-cerca-di-gloria-1.213490
  8. ^ "CLERICUS CUP: I NUMERI DEL SECONDO CAMPIONATO DI CALCIO PONTIFICIO" (in Italian). CSI. 2007-11-20. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  9. ^ http://www.repubblica.it/2009/02/sport/calcio/coppe/clericus-cup/clericus-cup/clericus-cup.html
  10. ^ http://www.ansa.it/ansalatinabr/notizie/fdg/200902191152339105/200902191152339105.html
  11. ^ http://www.runewsweek.ru/sport/28720/
  12. ^ "ROME'S CLERICUS CUP". globalpost.com. November 15, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  13. ^ The Scotsman
  14. ^ Sydney Morning Herald
  15. ^ Catholic News Service
  16. ^ Hyde, Marina (2007-03-01). "Original sin-bin part of football's counter-reformation". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  17. ^ "Vatican tournament to use 'sin bin' card". BBC News. 2009-02-19. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  18. ^ "Italy holds priestly 'world cup'". BBC News. 2007-02-21. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  19. ^ a b "2007/08 Classification" (in Italian). Clericus Cup website. Retrieved 7 August 2010. 
  20. ^ a b "2009 Classification" (in Italian). Clericus Cup website. Retrieved 7 August 2010. 
  21. ^ a b "2010 Classification" (in Italian). Clericus Cup website. Retrieved 7 August 2010. 
  22. ^ a b c d "2011 Classification" (in Italian). Clericus Cup website. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  23. ^ a b c d [http://www.clericuscup.it/Index.aspx? idmenu=3676 "2011 Classification"] (in Italian). Clericus Cup website. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 

External links[edit]