Malta Football Association
Malta FA’s Italy representative meets Pope Francis
Dec 21, 2017
Posted in:
National Team
Pope Francis receives the official Malta shirt from Mauro Di Lello.
Pope Francis receives the official Malta shirt from Mauro Di Lello.

  • Pope Francis receives the official Malta shirt from Mauro Di Lello.

Two Malta shirts were among the gifts handed out to Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday.

Mauro Di Lello, an advisor to Malta FA President Norman Darmanin Demajo, presented the shirts to Pope Francis at the Paul VI Audience Hall.


“It was a memorable experience,” Di Lello, who runs the Malta FA office in Rome, told


“Pope Francis was very nice and courteous.


“When it was our turn to meet him, I introduced myself as the representative of the Malta Football Associaton in Italy and told him that we wished to present him with the official Malta shirts on behalf of MFA President Norman Darmanin Demajo.


“The Pope expressed his gratitude and smiled as he is a football fan. He is a big supporter of Argentine club San Lorenzo.


“Pope Francis also blessed the two shirts and signed the white one.”


The two Malta shirts had the words ‘Papa Francesco’ emblazoned on the back.


Di Lello, whose association with Maltese football stretches back to 2002 when he joined Pietà Hotspurs as a player, described his meeting with Pope Francis as a special occasion.


“It’s a very special feeling as it’s not everyday that you get the chance to meet probably the most important and influential person the world, the head of the Catholic church, and yet Pope Francis is so down-to-earth,” Di Lello said.

“He makes you feel at ease immediately.


“You do feel a sense of trepidation when you are waiting inside the Aula Paolo VI to meet the Pope and kiss his hand but from the moment he greets you with that reassuring smile and starts to talk, it feels like you have known him for a very long time.


“It was an unforgettable experience. I’m very pleased that we managed to make this presentation to Pope Francis on behalf of the Malta FA and President Norman Darmanin Demajo.”


Di Lello was accompanied by Aldo Rossi Merighi.

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