Gianni Infantino allegedly just wanted to help: The Fifa President defended a selfie at the wake for football legend Pelé – he was asked if he could take a few photos.
Gianni Infantino has defended a selfie he took in the FC Santos stadium, in the immediate vicinity of the coffin with Pele lying in state. The president of the world football association Fifa wrote on social media that he was dismayed that some people were criticizing him for it.
Teammates and family members of “the great Pele” asked if he could take some photos with them – “and of course I said yes immediately,” explained Infantino. Pelé died last Thursday at the age of 82 after suffering from cancer and was laid out on Monday in his old club’s stadium.
FIFA boss Gianni Infantino: Just wanted to help
Infantino had photographed himself with former Santos professional Lima using his smartphone, which provoked criticism. Pelé’s teammates asked him to do it but didn’t know how to do it, Infantino explained. “To help them, I took one of them’s cell phone and took the picture of all of us for him.” He has so much respect and admiration for Pele “that I would never do anything that would be disrespectful in any way.”
The 52-year-old also announced that the pitch at FIFA headquarters in Zurich would be called “Estádio Pelé – FIFA Zurich”. During his visit on Monday, Infantino said Fifa would ask all 211 football federations in the world to name a stadium after Pele.
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