Sport Soccer

Sunday 22 July 2018

Pele's representative insist the football legend is 'fine' after he pulls out of a dinner in London

Pele has suffered with health issues in recent years
Pele has suffered with health issues in recent years

Pele is resting at home after a minor health scare, with a spokesperson for the Brazilian football legend insisting he decided not to make a planned trip to attend a dinner in his honour this weekend as he did not want to make the long trip to London.

The Football Writers' Association (FWA) were planning to stage the event to pay tribute to Pele and informed the media that he had been forced to withdraw after he was diagnosed with exhaustion.

Yet his spokesman Jose Fornos Rodrigue has clarified the story: "He just didn't want to make a long and stressful trip to London, in and out of who knows how many planes and airports. That's all."

The FWA statement had suggested Pele had been taken to hospital, as they confirmed they planned to re-arrange the dinner in due course.

"While it is incredibly sad Pele cannot attend the function, the FWA are grateful that all those who have been asked to pay tribute on the night - Gareth Southgate, Cliff Jones, Gordon Banks and Steve Hunt - are determined to help make the evening a memorable one.

"Pele's team have also asked that we film the event and send a copy to Brazil in the knowledge it will lift the great man's spirits to see his friends are thinking of him and sending their best wishes. With that in mind, we want to do Pele proud and make Sunday night as memorable as possible.

"It goes without saying, Pele has an open invitation to any of our functions once he regains his health and we are already discussing the possibility of him joining us in May for the Footballer of the Year dinner."

The former Brazil striker also pulled out of the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro due to unspecified health reasons, but it appears he is in good health now at the age of 77.

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