Do sports thrive in Vatican City?

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The Vatican has eight soccer teams in its small league, with players from various institutions. The Vatican national team has only played four international matches, all against Monaco, with limited victories due to players’ demanding day jobs. Vatican City also has a women’s team and an intramural team of priests competing in the Clericus Cup.

Like many parishes with sports clubs, the Vatican is proud of its soccer teams. Currently, there are eight teams in the Vatican City Championship, the nation’s small soccer league, with amateur players drawn from Vatican institutions such as the Swiss Guards, museums, hospitals and the postal service. Occasionally, the best players combine to form the Vatican national team. Since they have demanding day jobs, with limited opportunities to exercise, victories have been elusive. So far, the Vatican national football team has played only four official international matches, all against Monaco. They played to a draw in 2002 and the Vatican lost in 2011, 2013 and 2014.

The papal passage:

Vatican City is the smallest independent state in the world. Its football club is one of seven non-members of FIFA, along with Monaco, Palau, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia.
Vatican City launched its first women’s soccer team in 2019. The team is made up of female staff working at the Vatican, as well as the wives and daughters of employees.
The Vatican also fields an intramural team that competes in the annual Clericus Cup, a competition between Rome’s pontifical seminaries. The players are either priests or men studying for the priesthood and the competition is often fierce.

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