Pope Francis blesses UEFA officials ahead of Euro 2020

A man walks in front of Rome's Olympic stadium, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. The Euro 2020 gets underway on Friday June 11 and is being played in 11 host cities across 11 countries.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis met with UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin and other soccer officials on Thursday to offer his blessings before the European Championship kicks off in Rome.

Euro 2020, which was postponed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, starts Friday with Italy playing Turkey at the Stadio Olimpico.

The Argentine-born Francis is an avid soccer fan and a noted supporter of Buenos Aires team San Lorenzo.

Italian soccer federation president Gabriele Gravina also took part in the meeting inside the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican.

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