Vatican soccer team finishes last in World Cup again

QATAR—The Vatican City Men’s Soccer Team was eliminated early in this year’s World Cup once again.

The 16-0 loss to the Principality of Sealand marks just the first game Vatican City played in the 2022 World Cup group stage, which normally sees teams playing at least 3 games before advancing or not to the knockout stage of the competition. The loss was so horrific, however, that FIFA unanimously decided to eliminate them after just one showing because “it was just plain embarrassing.” 

“For one, not one fan came to the game,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said. “And I’m pretty sure most of the people on that team don’t even know how to play football [soccer].” 

The tiny nation of Vatican City has a notoriously difficult time fielding a team, as their entire population is only a handful of clerics. Normally, they turn to younger seminarians for their starting roster, who they convince to join by withholding ordination. 

“I thought they had a shot this year when I saw the more athletic seminarians take the field,” Sealand center forward Michael Bates said. “But most of them either just wandered wistfully around the grass or spent the whole game arguing with each other about liturgy.” 

“Plus, I think those ‘cassock’ uniforms they wore this year really restricted their movement,” he added. 

The team reportedly struggled to find enough seminarians to fill the team and so had to resort to filling in older, retired priests who couldn’t be troubled to wear the uniform.

Originally published Nov 24, 2022