3rd January, 2023
FIFA President, Gianni Infantino has replied critics who criticised him for taking selfie at a ceremony for the late football legend, Pele.
The FIFA president took to his Instagram page to express his displeasure at the barrage of criticism that greeted his action.
“Just landed from my trip to Brazil where I had the privilege to participate in the beautiful homage to Pelé that took place at Vila Belmiro, in Santos.
“I am dismayed after having been informed that I am apparently being criticized by some people for having taken a selfie and pictures at the ceremony yesterday.
“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,” he said.
In the case of the selfie, he explained that “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 the photo of all of us for him.
“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.
“I have so much respect and admiration for Pelé and for that ceremony yesterday that I would never do anything that would be disrespectful in any way whatsoever.”
Infantino added: “I hope that those who published or said things without knowing and without seeking information could have the decency and courage to admit they were wrong and correct what they said.
“The most important in any case is to pay tribute to King Pelé, and whilst I humbly suggested that throughout our 211 member associations at least one football stadium or venue is named after him, we will set the example by giving the pitch in our headquarters the name “Estádio Pelé – FIFA Zürich”. Um abraço e viva o Rei!”