As much as many people want to keep football, religion and politics separate, it is impossible. Look at the Old Firm derby and the chants that are sung around the grounds during those fiercely contested historic derbies. Look at the reception the Spanish national anthem got at the 2015 Copa del Rey final between Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona.
Football is intrinsically linked to the world of religion and politics. However, Leeds United have never had any strong ties to the Catholic church, bar having several Irish legends and Italian owners. So it was quite the surprise to see the head of the Catholic church presented with a Leeds jersey by the club’s chairman.
Leeds are top of the Championship and look to have recruited a new supporter – after their owner gifted the Pope with the club’s shirt.
Andrea Radrizzani posted a picture on his Twitter account of the moment he presented Pope Francis with a Leeds jersey.
Emotional and unique moment to meet his holiness @pontifex and donate an @lufc jersey… 🙏💛💙⚽ we have one special supporter pic.twitter.com/Z4hpbEXiGD
— Andrea Radrizzani (@andrearadri) September 5, 2018
The Pope himself has not yet confirmed whether he has been converted to Leeds United fandom after being presented with the jersey.