Catholic football deal on the verge of collapse

A partnership between Italian Bishops and an Italian Football team has ended in squabble over money.

Times Online reports the scheme, which was set up last October to promote ethical values in sport between Catholic sports organisation CSI (Centro Sportivo Italiano) and third division club Ancona.

CSI has complained that the club had failed to live up to its side of the bargain and fund Catholic charities in Italy and Africa.

CSI Head Edio Costantini said the Church's backing for Ancona had given the side global publicity even A division teams could only dream of.

"Divorce will be inevitable unless the club opens up its purse strings,'' Mr Costantini said.

"Ancona club chairman Giampiero Schiavoni's committment to the scheme has apparently wavered.

"The club will have to accept full responsibility if the scheme collapses. Let's hope they repent. Fine words are not enough, we need money," he said.

However, the football club replied that it was the CSI which had reneged on the deal by failing to provide a promised one million Euros in sponsorship.

The Vatican said it approved of the attempt to inject Christian values into football, but was not directly involved in the scheme.

Vatican partnership with football team turns sour (Times 19/02/08)


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