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Pele to be buried on Tuesday




Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has declared a three-day period of national mourning following the death of Pelé while the date of the funeral has been confirmed for Tuesday (January 3).

On Monday (January 2), a 24-hour wake is due to be held at the Estádio Urbano Caldeira, home to Santos FC where Pelé played from 1956 until 1974.

The following day, a procession carrying the coffin is set to take place through the streets of Santos before ending at the Ecumenical Memorial Necropolis cemetery where he is due to be buried in a private ceremony.

“With regret the passing of a man, who through football, took the name of Brazil to the world,” wrote Bolsonaro, who is leaving office on Sunday (January 1).

“He turned football into art and joy. May God comfort your family and welcome you into his infinite mercy”.


Bolsonaro’s successor, President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, wrote on Twitter that “few Brazilians carried the name of our country as far as he did”.

Pelé, whose full name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, won the FIFA World Cup in 1958, 1962 and 1970 before his death at the age of 82.

He had been in a São Paulo hospital since November 29 for a respiratory infection and what was described as “re-evaluation of the chemotherapy treatment over colon cancer identified in September 2021”.

He spent Christmas in hospital with his cancer worsening and also required treatment for heart and kidney problems.

After the announcement of his death, images of Pelé were projected on buildings across Brazil while tributes flooded in.


The Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and the arches of Wembley Stadium in London were lit up in Brazilian colours to commemorate Pelé’s life.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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