FIFA president Infantino is “baffled” by criticism of selfies at Pelé’s coffin

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has been spotted posing for selfies next to Pele’s open coffin during the vigil for the late Brazilian. This has earned him a lot of criticism, which the Swiss does not understand at all, he indicated on social media.

Pelé, a three-time World Cup winner, widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers ever, died of cancer last week at the age of 82. The coffin of the Brazilian football legend stands in the middle of the field at the Vila Belmiro stadium, home of his former club Santos, in Sao Paulo.

Thousands of people lined up to pay their respects, with Infantino among those who attended the public ceremony. But the FIFA president was widely criticized on social media after he was spotted standing meters away from Pele’s coffin posing for photos.

The 52-year-old chairman, who was born in Switzerland, also spoke with Pelé’s widow Marcia Aoki and his eldest son Edinho. “We are here with great sadness. Pelé is eternal. He is a global icon of football. Future generations need to know and remember who Pelé was,” Infantino said.

Response Infantino

The Swiss himself does not understand the fuss. According to Infantino, it’s all a misunderstanding. He writes in a statement on Insatgram that he is stunned that he is being criticized for his action.

“Family members and former teammates asked me to take pictures because they didn’t know how to do it themselves. I was very honored by that and of course I did immediately. If being helpful to Pelé’s former teammates gets me so much criticism, I’m happy to take it. And I will always be helpful to those who have contributed to the history of football.”

“I have so much respect and admiration for Pele and for that ceremony yesterday that I would never do anything that would be disrespectful in any way. I hope that those who have published or said things without knowing it and without seeking information would have the decency and courage to admit they were wrong and correct what they said.”

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