Fifa to keep Pele's feet in museum? Authority responds after viral social media posts

The Brazilian athlete is widely regarded as the greatest player of all time and is the only footballer in history to win three World Cups



Reuters
Reuters

By AFP

Published: Sat 14 Jan 2023, 7:08 PM

As the world mourned the death of football legend Pelé, Facebook posts falsely claimed that Fifa would display his feet in a museum, attributing the information to Brazilian news outlet TNT Sports Brasil.

Fifa rejected the claim, while TNT Sports Brasil said it was not the source of information. Pelé was buried on January 3 in Santos, the Brazilian city where he played for most of his career.

"Breaking," reads a post shared on December 30 on a Facebook page with more than 390,000 followers.

"Fifa will keep Pele's feet in the museum. Pele's family has given the permission."

AFP
AFP

Similar posts circulated on Facebook and Twitter accounts around the world, including in Papua New Guinea, Ghana and Nigeria, after the football icon died at the age of 82.

Widely regarded as the greatest player of all time, Pelé is the only footballer in history to win three World Cups - 1958, 1962 and 1970.

The claim sparked criticism from social media users who appeared to believe it was true.

"The respect he has all over the world is enough. Let his body be interred intact," one comment read.

"So they amputated him? Very weird," another said.

Responding to the posts, a Fifa representative told AFP: "We completely refute this claim."

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Pelé was buried on January 3 at the Memorial Ecumenical Cemetery in the south-eastern port city of Santos, where "The King" played for most of his career.

A spokesperson from the cemetery told AFP that the player's embalmed body would rest in a coffin in a 200-square-metre mausoleum decorated like a football stadium.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Brazilian outlet TNT Sports Brasil said it never reported the false claim.

"We were not the source of this post/report," a spokesperson told AFP.

A search of TNT Sports Brasil's coverage of Pelé's death found no trace of the false claim.


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