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Gianni Infantino defends the selfies on the coffin at the funeral service

Gianni Infantino defends the selfies on the coffin at the funeral service

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has slammed criticism for his photos taken in the aftermath of Brazilian soccer legend Pele. “I want to make it clear that I felt very honored when my colleagues and family of the great Pele asked if I could take some pictures with them. Of course I said yes right away,” the global board wrote on Instagram.

Some of Pele’s former teammates at FC Santos asked him on Monday near the open coffin of the late idol “to take a selfie of us all together, but they didn’t know how to do it. To help them, I took it on the mobile and Infantino defended one of them and took a picture of us all for him.”

Criticism of Infantino

With this action, the 52-year-old received heavy criticism on the internet. He described his behavior as “disrespectful”.

Selfies include Manuel María (74) and Lima (80), both of whom played for Pele at FC Santos.

Pele: President Lula also says goodbye

At the end of the meeting, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva bid farewell to the football legend.

He wanted to “pay his respects and homage” to Pele, who is revered in Brazil as “O Rei”, the king.

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Lula, who took office on Sunday in a ceremony that began with a minute’s silence for Pele, stood in front of the coffin and hugged widow Marcia Sebele-Aoki and other members of the family, and said a prayer.

About 230,000 people pay their last respects to Pele

Pele’s mummified body was publicly laid out in the stadium of his former club FC Santos for 24 hours, and some 230,000 fans and his comrades paid their last respects.

To applause from family and friends, the coffin was sealed at 10:04 a.m. local time, leaving the widow in tears.

No one from the current Silicao has been around the superstar Neymar, but most of the professionals also play in Europe.

Pele: Previous stars and stars are missing from the grave

Even the greats like Ronaldo, Romario, Cafu and Kaka did not attend the ceremony, only Mauro Silva from the last two world champion teams was present.

Soon after, the coffin was to be carried in a funeral procession through the streets of the coastal city of Santos, 75 kilometers south of Sao Paulo.

The procession was also to pass near the house where Pele’s mother, 100-year-old Celeste Arantes, lived. Pele’s funeral will take place in the midst of the family.

Pele, who was the only player in history to win the world championship three times, died on December 29 from complications from cancer.