Vatican City, 23 July 2014 (VIS) – An “Interreligious Match for Peace” will be held on 1 September at 8.45 p.m., at the Olympic Stadium in Rome. The event will involve the participation of world level players and coaches such as Lionel Messi, Gianluigi Buffon, Zinedine Zidane, Javier Zanetti, Roberto Baggio, Andrea Pirlo, Yuto Nagatomo and Samuel Eto'o, and the proceeds will be donated to charity.
The idea for the match originates from April 2013, when the Pope met with the Argentine and Italian teams following a friendly match between them. On that occasion, the footballer Javier Zanetti communicated to the Pope his idea of organising a sporting event uniting people of different religions. A year later, the idea took shape. Tickets for the event will be available from Friday 25 July, and all the proceeds will be donated to “Scholas Occurrentes” and to the P.U.P.I. Foundation.
Scholas Occurrentes is an educational organisation, supported by Pope Francis through the Pontifical Council for Sciences, that uses technology, art and sport to promote social integration and the culture of encounter. The P.U.P.I. Foundation is a non-profit organisation created by Paula and Javier Zanetti over ten years ago, promotes and supports distance adoption programmes and assistance for children in difficult social conditions.