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Pope to spend few more days in hospital after operation

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FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/File Photo

Pope Francis will spend a few more days in hospital following his colon surgery, the Vatican said Monday, adding that the football-mad pontiff was cheered by Italy’s victory in Euro 2020.

Francis will “remain hospitalised for a few more days in order to optimise the medical and rehabilitation therapy,” spokesman Matteo Bruni said.

The 84-year old underwent planned surgery for inflammation of the colon on July 4. The following day, the Vatican said he was expected to stay at least seven days at Rome’s Gemelli University Hospital.

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It was not clear if Francis, who loves football but goes to bed early, stayed up to watch the European championship final between Italy and England, which his adopted homeland won on penalities.

But he likely heard the celebratory fireworks and raucous beeps from cars and scooters across Rome.

The Argentine pope has spent much of his recovery period pacing the hospital’s corridors. His mood is likely to have been lifted Saturday by Argentina’s win over hosts Brazil in the Copa America final.

Francis was “sharing the joy for the victory of the Argentine and Italian national teams with the people close to him”, Bruni said.

And in doing so he had “dwelt on the meaning of sport and its values, and on the sporting ability to accept any result, even defeat”, he said.

“Only in this way, in the face of life’s difficulties, is it possible to always put yourself out there, fighting without giving up, with hope and trust”, Francis was quoted as saying.

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