Goa: Ex Brazilian FIFA players participate in church tourney

November 7, 2014 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Goa FootballPanaji, November 6, 2014: Football will also feature at the forthcoming decennial Exposition of St. Francis Xavier, a religious event which will be held in Goa later this month where over five million pilgrims are expected.

Goa will host two former Brazilian World Cup footballers, who will participate in an eight-team tournament, organised alongside the Exposition.

According to organisers, the 2014 Unity World Cup, which will comprise of international Church-related football teams from countries like Brazil, Portugal, Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Columbia, etc, will also include several other footballers who have represented the national teams of the named countries.

“The Brazilian team will have three national players including Carlos Luciano da Silva, nicknamed Mineiro from the 2006 FIFA World Cup and Ze Carlos from the 1998 FIFA World Cup,” Kennedy D’Silva, Director of the John Paul II foundation for Sports, one of the organisers of the event, told IANS Wednesday.

The tournament is expected to begin Dec 5 and culminate Dec 14. Some of the league matches will be organised in Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

According to Fr. Alfred Vaz, convener of the Exposition of the 16th century Spanish saint, who is credited with bringing Christianity to Goa, organising the sporting event as part of the grand feast, was to ensure that the message of peace and love imparted by Xavier, should go well beyond the boundaries of the Church complex, where the religious aspect of the Exposition is held.

“The impact of the Exposition should be felt beyond the boundaries of the Archdiocese and therefore we decided that football is a great platform for a global understanding of the Exposition of the great saint, Francis Xavier,” Vaz said.

The bodily remains of the saint, also referred to as ‘sacred relics’ are exhibited to pilgrims decennially for 44 days at a stretch (Nov 22-Jan 4) at the Exposition. This year nearly five million devotees are expected to attend the event.

– ians

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