Polish fans rally around Peruvian football club honoring Saint John Paul II

Source: Facebook/Juan Pablo II College Chongoyape.
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

A football club from Peru has captured the hearts of Polish fans due to its special connection to a man venerated by the Polish people.

Juan Pablo II College Chongoyape, a team from the small Peruvian city of Chongoyape with a population of around 19,000, has become a topic of excitement in Poland.

This surge of interest is not due to their athletic prowess in Peru’s lower football leagues, but because the team was created in tribute to Saint John Paul II, the Polish pope. The saint’s image is proudly displayed on the team’s shirts and club emblem.

Chongoyape, mainly an agricultural city focusing on rice, sugar cane, and corn cultivation, is a city that is in love with football, which is one of the primary forms of entertainment for local residents.

Although the Juan Pablo II College Chongoyape team has been relatively unknown globally, it has recently gained fame in Poland. The club’s name and emblem, directly connecting to the Polish pope, have struck a chord with Polish football enthusiasts.

In recent weeks, the team, affectionately nicknamed “Juanos Pablitos,” has recently fought to be promoted to the second division of Peruvian football. They reached the semifinals in cup competitions, a significant achievement for the team. Due to the team’s efforts, it has been confirmed that Juan Pablo II College Chongoyape will play in Peru’s professional second division next year.

Interestingly, the Peruvian club enjoys the support of numerous fans who wave flags featuring John Paul II. The pope himself was a great football fan, particularly of the club Cracovia from Kraków, and famously stated that “of all the unimportant things, football is the most important.” This connection has resonated deeply with Polish fans, bridging a unique bond between a small Peruvian town and the football community in Poland.

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