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 CNS Story:

CLERICUS-BAN Jan-24-2008 (290 words) xxxi

Sideline behavior: Complaints force Clericus Cup fans to tone it down

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) -- Complaints of excessive noise levels by sleepy residents have forced fans of a priestly soccer series to try to tone it down during weekend matches.

Fans are now banned from using megaphones, drums, tambourines and boomboxes to cheer on their favorite team, said organizers of the Clericus Cup tournament.

Now in its second season, the popular Clericus Cup kicked off at the end of 2007 with 16 teams of seminarians and priests studying in Rome vying for the 2008 championship title.

The games are played on two hilltop fields overlooking St. Peter's Basilica, at 9 and 10:30 a.m. Saturdays and 2:30 and 3:45 p.m. Sundays -- a time many Romans lie down for an afternoon siesta after a heavy meal.

In fact, residents in the vicinity of the soccer fields had complained that any ruckus at those hours was a disturbance of the peace, said a Jan. 22 press release from tournament organizers.

The code of silence was to go into effect Jan. 26.

Gone will be the legendary tambourines of the Legionaries of Christ's Mater Ecclesiae fans, no more megaphones for the Italian supporters of Rome's major seminary and no boomboxes for belting out reggae for Pontifical Urbanian University enthusiasts, said the press release.

However, the tourney's 2007 champions, the Neocatechumenal Way's Redemptoris Mater, said team members would continue to sing their college anthem, "Alma Redemptoris Mater," before each game.

Last year's champions, nicknamed "Red Mat," were set to play the Pontifical North American College Jan. 26. The North American team, Red Mat and Rome's Sedes Sapientiae ecclesial college were tied for the lead in their division with six points each.


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