World Cup should favour solidarity, peace - Pope

Pontiff hopes tournament occasion for 'encounter, dialogue'

Francis said Wednesday that he hopes the soccer World Cup will be an occasion for "encounter, dialogue and brotherhood between different cultures and religions, and that it will favour solidarity and peace among nations".
    "I wish to send my cordial greetings to the athletes and organizers, as well as to all those who will be following the event through the media," the pope said in his weekly general audience on the day before the opening game between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia.
    On Wednesday FIFA announced that a joint bid by the United States, Mexico and Canada had won the right to host the 2026 World Cup.