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Gianni Infantino says he's 'dismayed' at criticism for posing for a selfie near Pele's open casket

Marcus Chan

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Gianni Infantino says he's 'dismayed' at criticism for posing for a selfie near Pele's open casket

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has responded to critics after he was spotted posing for selfies near Brazil legend Pele’s open casket.

Last week, it was announced that Pele, one of the greatest players in football history, passed away aged 82.

A statement from his family read: “Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pelé, who peacefully passed away today.

“Love, love and love, forever.”

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FIFA boss Infantino travelled to the Brazilian city of Santos to pay his respects. However, he was widely criticised after he posed for a selfie near Pele’s open casket.

Now, Infantino has said that he is ‘dismayed’ at the criticism and has claimed that he was doing a favour for some of Pele’s old teammates.

He wrote on his Instagram: “I am dismayed after having been informed that I am apparently being criticised by some people for having taken a selfie and pictures at the ceremony yesterday.

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“I would like to clarify that I was both honoured and humbled that teammates and family members of the great Pelé asked me if I could take a few photos with them. And obviously, I immediately agreed.

“In the case of the selfie, Pelé's teammates asked to do a selfie of all of us together but they didn't know how to do it. So, to be helpful, I took the phone of one of them and took a photo of all of us for him.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

“If being helpful to a teammate of Pelé creates criticism I'm happy to take it and will continue to be helpful wherever I can to those having contributed to write legendary pages of football.” You can read Infantino’s full statement on his official Instagram account.

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On Monday, Infantino revealed that he is going to ask every country in the world to name a football stadium after Pele.

He said: “We are going to ask that all countries in the world have at least one stadium with the name of Pele.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/[email protected]_infantino

Topics: Gianni Infantino, Pele, Brazil, Football, FIFA

Marcus Chan
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