Vatican Amateur Sports Association
Founded1972; 50 years ago (1972)
PresidentDomenico Ruggiero
WebsiteOfficial Website

The Amateur Sports Association "Sport in the Vatican" (Italian: Associazione Sportiva Dilettantistica "Sport in Vaticano") is an Italian sports association of employees who work in the Vatican City. [1] The Association is headquartered in Italy and has an operative office in the Cortile di San Damaso inside the Vatican.[2] The current President is Domenico Ruggiero.[3]


The association was founded in 1972 by Dr. Sergio Valci, a Vatican employee. He remained President of the Association until his death in 2012.[1] Mass has been held for members of the Association at Saint Peter's tomb below St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican grottoes.[4]


The Vatican Amateur Sports Association is currently involved with football, and remains open to other sports.


Vatican City is one of the eight officially recognized and independent states whose national football team is not a member of FIFA (the others are Monaco, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Marshall Islands, and Palau).[1] However, Vatican City has fielded a men's national team since as early as 1994[5] and a women's national team since 2019.[6]

In 2006 UEFA spokesperson William Gaillard told a media outlet that he saw no reason why the Vatican should not have a national team in international competitions. He said, "We already have states of 30,000 citizens like San Marino, Liechtenstein, and Andorra. If the Vatican wants to become a member of UEFA all it has to do is apply. If it meets the requirements, it will be accepted". At that time Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone insisted that the Vatican's football future lies only in amateur games and competitions.[7] In May 2014, Domenico Ruggerio, president of the national football association, stated, "I prefer to be amateur...To join FIFA, at that level, will be like a business" after stating, "The important message of friendship and love is demonstrated by the sport — the real sport, not the business that is in football these days...It is not just important to win a match; it is how you carry yourself." Therefore, that, he added, meant that "the ethos of the Vatican's soccer team was, at odds with FIFA membership.[8]

In addition to the national teams, the Association organizes the Vatican City Championship,[9] Coppa Sergio Valci,[10] and the Vatican Supercoppa.[11]


  1. ^ a b c "Storia" (in Italian). Vatican Amateur Sports Association. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  2. ^ Nuti, Nicola. "Vaticano: 7 squadre per il campionato di calcio" (in Italian). News Cattoliche. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Organigramma" (in Italian). Vatican Amateur Sports Association. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Santa Sede. Messa per l?Associazione Sportiva" (in Italian). Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  5. ^ Schöggl, Hans. "Vatican City International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  6. ^ Thomas, Marissa. "Pope gives blessing as Vatican launches women's football team". Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  7. ^ "Vatican squashes soccer team idea". Italy Magazine. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  8. ^ Montague, James. "A Friendly Game for a Beatific State". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  9. ^ "Classifica" (in Italian). Vatican Amateur Sports Association. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  10. ^ "COPPA VATICANA 2018 – 2019" (PDF) (in Italian). Vatican Amateur Sports Association. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Partite Supercoppa Vaticana" (in Italian). Vatican Amateur Sports Association. Retrieved 3 July 2019.