Pele Visit to Nigeria Cancelled Due To Health Difficulties
Football legend Edson Arantes do Nascimento popularly known as Pele will not visit Nigeria this month as earlier announced because of ill-health.
Pele had also withdrawn from the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics citing health reasons.
In a statement, the three-time FIFA World Cup winner said: “I’m not physically able to attend the opening of the Olympics.”
“Only God is more important than my health. In my life, I’ve had fractures, surgeries, pain, hospital stays, victories and defeats. And I’ve always respected those who admire me.”
He said it was “my own decision, as a Brazilian. I ask God to bless all who participate in this event.”
That statement has also had an effect on his appearance in Nigeria scheduled for this week.
Organisers of the trip, the Winihin Jemide Series and the Youth Experience Days Africa apologised for the inconvenience in a statement and revealed future dates will be announced as soon as Pele is fit to make the trip to Nigeria.
“The Winihin Jemide Series & Youth Experience Days Africa have both chosen to postpone the 2016 WJS/YEDA LEGEND EDITION with Pelé due to reports of his ill health on Friday 5th, 2016,” the statement read.
“We are sorry that we have to disappoint the many Pelé fans and Legend Edition supporters at this time, who were looking forward to this event. As we pray for his speedy and full recovery, we believe that it would be inconsiderate for us to put his health at risk.
“Our ticketing platforms will be offering a full refund on all tickets purchased and new dates for the event will be announced over the course of the next few weeks. We hope the new dates are suitable for everyone.
“The decision to postpone the event did not come easily and we want to express gratitude to sponsors and stakeholders.”
Pele, who recently got married to his long-time girlfriend has scored over 1000 goals in his playing career and won the World Cup with Brazil in 1954, 1962 and 1970.