Pope's favorite soccer club dismisses 'crazy' report of Trump offer

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 28, 2015 12:32 PM

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Pope Francis' favorite soccer club, the top-tier Argentine team San Lorenzo, has dismissed as "totally crazy" a report that U.S. real-estate magnate and presidential hopeful Donald Trump has made an approach to buy it.

"San Lorenzo belongs to its members and IS NOT FOR SALE," the club's Vice President Marcelo Tinelli told Reuters in a text message on Friday, using capital letters for emphasis. The New York Post reported earlier that Trump and an associate had sent a letter to San Lorenzo expressing interest in a deal.

"Maybe Donald Trump is looking to court the Catholic vote," the Post said, referring to Pope Francis' long-term status as a San Lorenzo fan. He grew up near San Lorenzo's original stadium in Buenos Aires.

San Lorenzo is one of the top five clubs in soccer-obsessed Argentina. Last year the club won the Libertadores Cup, the biggest club tournament in South America.

A Trump campaign spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Whether through soccer, the biggest sport in Latin America, or by other means, the leading candidate in Republican presidential race might benefit from some connection with Latino voters.

Trump began his campaign in June by saying Mexico is sending its criminals and rapists to the U.S. The comment sparked anger from Hispanic civil rights groups and others.

(Reporting by Luis Ampuero, writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Bill Rigby)