Pope Jokes With Swiss Guard Ahead of World Cup Match

Invited to Watch Argentina v Switzerland at Soldiers' Barracks

Vatican City, (Zenit.org) | 3269 hits

Pope Francis has not missed an opportunity to jest about the Brazilian World Cup with members of the Swiss Guard defending his St. Martha residence.

Ahead of this evening’s match between his native Argentina and Switzerland in the championship quarter-finals, the Holy Father joked: "It will be war!"

According to the Italian daily La Repubblica, the Swiss Guard invited the Pope to follow the game on a giant screen installed in the barracks inside the Vatican, but he said he had to “unfortunately” decline the invitation.

An avid soccer fan, Francis has long supported the Argentine club San Lorenzo de Almagro, and continues to assiduously follow the fortunes of his favorite club and to pay its dues.

In December 2013, he received the leaders and players of the team who came to the Vatican to celebrate with him their victory in the national championship.

This evening’s match begins at 6pm Rome time in the Arena de Sao Paulo.

Argentina qualified for the last 16 by finishing top of Group F, having won all three of their matches by a single goal.