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Fair not foul, Bishop tells soccer players

Prelate kicks off anniversary tournament with reminder of spirit of the game

The Bishop of Maumere in East Nusa Tenggara Timur kicked off a soccer tournament on Tuesday by telling the players to play well and be “sportsmen.”

“Athletes in any kind of sport, including soccer, should show skills that will entertain people, not promote animosity or fights among teams,” Divine Word Bishop Gerulfus Kherubim Pareira said at the opening ceremony on May 17. Maumere diocese organized the soccer tournament as part of celebrations marking the bishop’s 40 years of priesthood and 25 years of episcopacy. Indonesia’s soccer team has failed in international competition because players have not shown real sportsmanship even at national level, he said. “Our players do not demonstrate fair play while competing, instead they prefer to fight,” the bishop told the players of 30 teams competing in the tournament. The dioceses’ anniversary also invited Catholics to plant 5,000 trees in Magapenda, 45 kilometers west of Maumere city, as part of the celebrations for Bishop Pareira. Blasius Pedor, committee chairman, said other activities being organized include free medical treatment, donations to orphanage and anti-malaria drives. Related report: Maumere Catholics rejoice at appointment of native bishop
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