Italian spearhead Ciro Immobile took part in a charity match organized by the Lazio Sports Center. However, there was a slight twist in the tale as instead of donning the match-day jersey, the striker was spotted on the field in a referee’s avatar!
Hosted in Formello, the friendly clash was between select Lazio employees and the Vatican XI and was held for the noble cause of safeguarding the Roma ethnic group worldwide from discrimination and poverty.
Both sides featured noted personalities including current Albanian boss Edy Reja from the Vatican side, and the Biancoceleste boss Maurizio Sarri representing Lazio.
The spotlight, however, was on the officiating Immobile who was appointed at the special request of Pope Francis himself!
The forward has been out of action for quite some time now having picked up a calf injury which led to him missing out on the all-important World Cup qualifiers as well as his side’s recent Serie A clash against Juventus. However, he certainly looked in his element with a whistle in his mouth.
The match saw a myriad of goals from either side, ending in a draw at 7-7. The makeshift referee did his job to perfection, even rewarding a couple of penalties during the game.
Post his gig for the day, Immobile expressed “What an honour to whistle for the Pope’s team! And I’ll be back soon”, conveying that if another opportunity comes around, he’d have no issues indulging as an interim official again.
Although the Lazio fans would’ve been blown away at this eccentric sight of their scorer in a ref’s uniform, they will be yearning for him to recuperate from his injuries and fill the void that is being felt in his absence.