-Brazil 2014: Pope Francis neutral over football World Cup

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VATICAN Francis, known for his love of football, said on Friday he had been asked remain neutral in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

“The Brazilians asked for my neutrality’’, the Argentine-born pontiff said in an interview with Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia.

“And keep my word, because Brazil and Argentina have always been rivals.’’

On , the first day of the Brazil-hosted tournament, the of the Catholic Church sent goodwill messages via Twitter and a video message broadcast by Brazilian network Rede Globo.

“While it is true at the end of this World Cup only one national be able lift the winners’ cup, we all be winners if we learn the lessons sport teaches us, strengthening the bonds unite us’’, he said. (dpa/NAN)