FIFA President Claps Back At Critics After Taking Selfies Near Pelé’s Casket

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FIFA president Gianni Infantino was caught taking selfies just feet away from Pelés casket during the soccer legend’s public wake. Soccer fans around the world criticized Infantino for posing for photos during the event, but he doesn’t seem to understand why.

Infantino posted the selfie he took alongside a group of Pelés teammates, which included the legendary Brazilian’s best friend Manoel Maria. The FIFA president claimed he was asked to take the selfie, but none of Pelé’s former teammates knew how to take one.

“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,” Infantino wrote on Instagram.

“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 the photo of all of us for him.”

While the selfie itself doesn’t look bad, the photos showing Infantino taking the selfie are undoubtedly bad optics.

A Reuters photographer snapped a photo of Infantino taking the selfie with Pelé casket in the frame, just mere feet away. Also in the photo is Pelés daughter, Kelly Cristina Nascimento, greeting mourners with Infantino posing for his selfie in the background.

The FIFA president posing for a selfie feet away from Pelés body. (Reuters)

Following the selfie, many soccer fans compared Infantino to former FIFA president Sepp Blatter who was banned from FIFA in 2015 for ethics violations.

Pelé suffered a number of health issues in recent years, including colon cancer, before going into the hospital in November. He passed away at the age of 82 on December 29, 2022.

Written by Mark Harris

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