A Vatican-backed football tournament for Rome seminarians and priests has been forced to crack down on rowdy supporters in the stands. Neighbours living near the ground complained of noise sothe, trainee priests supporting their teams in the Clericus Cup tournament have been told that they will be barred from entering the ground if they continue to show up armed with drums, megaphones, trumpets, maracas and ghetto blasters (knuckledusters and flicknives are presumably okay...).
Loud chanting, sometimes in Latin, will also be discouraged to avoid "disturbing the peace", the organisers said. (I wish I knew what “You’re going home in a f*****g ambulance” was in Latin)
Drum-beating fans of the Mexican players of Maria Mater Ecclesiae College were singled out for particular criticism while African seminarians turning out for Urban College have been backed by loud reggae music. American seminarians from the North American College ( nicknamed the NAC), have been chanting "Come on you Knackers, kick some caboose," at games before singing Doo Wop numbers (hmm they have a long way to go before they match West Ham’s ICF....).
On the other hand, supporters of the current cup holders, Redemptoris Mater Seminary, have said they will continue to sing a hymn from the stands before each game.
The Clericus Cup brings together 18 teams of 51 nationalities, plus lay members working for religious organisations. Pope Benedict XVI said this month that football should promote "honesty, solidarity and fraternity". This year the competition is hosting a British squad for the first time. British College United, comprising students and priests from two English seminaries and a Scottish one, features the cup's oldest player, 57-year-old Scot John Breen, dean of studies at Beda College. "We bring a small British support which tends to express itself with the odd shout of encouragement," Breen said (I wonder if assertions about the marital status of the referee are included in the shouts of encouragement).Here's hoping there's no fighting on the terraces...