Gianni Infantino: FIFA boss ‘appalled’ after being criticized for taking selfie near Pelé’s open coffin | world news

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said he was “appalled” after being criticized for taking a selfie near Pele’s body as he lay in state.

A photo, published by Reuters news agency, showed the most powerful man in world football holding a mobile phone as he stood next to some of the Brazilian great’s former teammates, including Lima.

Right in front of them in the picture is the body of Pelelying in an open coffin at the stadium of his former club Santos before being buried.

Sky News included the image below but cropped it so that Pele was not visible.

Reuters photo of Gianni Infantino taking a selfie. Sky News chose not to show Pelé’s image in the foreground

Responding to criticism as he tried to diffuse the controversy, Infantino wrote on Instagram that Pele’s teammates “asked to take a selfie of us all together but they didn’t know how to do it.”

“So to be helpful, I took one of them’s phone and took the picture of all of us for him.”

He added: “If being useful to a Pelé team-mate creates criticism, I am happy to accept it and will continue to be useful wherever I can to those who have helped write legendary pages in football.”

His Instagram statement was accompanied by two photos of him and Pele’s teammates, one of which was a selfie.

“I have so much respect and admiration for Pele and for that ceremony yesterday that I would never do anything that would be disrespectful in any way,” Infantino said.

Amid criticism on social media, the head of world football’s governing body has been branded by some Twitter users as ‘classless’, ‘disgraceful’, ‘awful’ and ‘disgusting’.

Another user, comparing him to his predecessor Sepp Blatter who led a corruption-stricken FIFA but was himself cleared of corruption, wrote: “I thought it couldn’t be worse than Blatter. He’s fifty times worse.”

Read more:
Pele’s coffin carried through the streets as the public bid their final farewells
The IFA will ask each country to name a stadium in honor of Pelé
Thousands of fans line up to see hero Pele’s coffin

Someone on Twitter even called for Infantino’s arrest.

Pelé, originally named Edson Arantes do Nascimento, died Friday at the age of 82 after a battle with colon cancer.

The star, widely regarded as the greatest footballer of all time, will be buried today in the cemetery of the Ecumenical Memorial Necropolis overlooking the Santos Stadium.


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