Pelé’s family: COVID caused infection, death not imminent

Dec 4, 2022, 4:56 AM | Updated: 6:59 pm
Santos soccer team supporters secure a banner with the image of former soccer star Pele, in front o...

Santos soccer team supporters secure a banner with the image of former soccer star Pele, in front of the Albert Einstein hospital where he is hospitalized in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2022. The 82-year-old Pele has been at the hospital since Tuesday and officials say he is responding well to treatment for a respiratory infection. (AP Photo/Marcelo Chello)

(AP Photo/Marcelo Chello)

              A Santos soccer team supporter lights a candle during a payer vigil for the recovery of former soccer star Pele, in front of the Albert Einstein hospital where Pele is hospitalized in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2022. The 82-year-old Pele has been at the hospital since Tuesday and officials say he is responding well to treatment for a respiratory infection. (AP Photo/Marcelo Chello)
            
              A Santos soccer team supporter posts a photo of former soccer star Pele on a window of the Albert Einstein hospital where Pele is hospitalized during a payer vigil for his recovery in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2022. The 82-year-old Pele has been at the hospital since Tuesday and officials say he is responding well to treatment for a respiratory infection. (AP Photo/Marcelo Chello)
            
              Santos soccer team supporters gather at a prayer vigil for the recovery of former soccer star Pele, in front of the Albert Einstein hospital where Pele is hospitalized in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2022. The 82-year-old Pele has been at the hospital since Tuesday and officials say he is responding well to treatment for a respiratory infection. (AP Photo/Marcelo Chello)
            
              Santos soccer team supporters secure a banner with the image of former soccer star Pele, in front of the Albert Einstein hospital where he is hospitalized in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2022. The 82-year-old Pele has been at the hospital since Tuesday and officials say he is responding well to treatment for a respiratory infection. (AP Photo/Marcelo Chello)

SAO PAULO (AP) — Two daughters and one grandson of Brazilian soccer great Pelé said the three-time World Cup winner has been hospitalized since Tuesday to treat a respiratory infection aggravated by COVID-19. They added that the 82-year-old is under no imminent risk of death.

Kely and Flavia Nascimento and Arthur Arantes do Nascimento said in an interview aired Sunday night that Pelé, who is also undergoing chemotherapy in his fight against cancer, is expected to leave the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo once he fully recovers from the respiratory infection. Neither the family nor the hospital have any predictions in that regard.

The hospital said Saturday that Pelé is responding well to treatment for the infection and his health condition had not worsened over the previous 24 hours. The hospital did not issue any statements on the former footballer’s health Sunday.

“He is sick, he is old. But at the moment, he is there because of the lung infection. And once he feels better, he will go home again,” Kely Nascimento told TV Globo. She lives in the United States and spoke on video.

“He is not saying goodbye in a hospital at the moment,” she added.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, who is globally known as Pelé, had a colon tumor removed in September 2021, but neither his family nor the hospital have said whether it had spread.

Flavia Nascimento said in the interview that Pelé is yet to have a remission of his colon cancer but is now regulating his medication with doctors to keep fighting.

“It is very unfair for people to say he is in the end of his life, in palliative care. Guys, that’s not true. Believe us,” she said. “He is not in intensive care, he is in a regular bedroom. He is not in risk, he is in treatment.”

Newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported Saturday that Pelé’s chemotherapy is not working and that doctors had decided to put him on palliative care. The Associated Press could not confirm that information.

Arthur Arantes do Nascimento said he is debating World Cup matches with Pelé by phone, which he believes shows the 82-year-old is fully aware in hospital.

Pelé’s grandson said the former footballer missed injured star Neymar at Brazil’s latest two matches in Qatar — a 1-0 win against Switzerland and a 1-0 defeat of the reserves against Cameroon, both in group stage. Brazil faces South Korea on Monday in the round 16, with Neymar possibly returning to the team.

Arthur Arantes do Nascimento also said his grandfather was moved by tributes that have poured from around the world on the last few days. Since Saturday, about a hundred fans of his lifelong club Santos came for a vigil, prayers and tributes to the soccer great. Fans, players and coaches taking part in the World Cup wished him well by multiple means.

“I see people telling me ‘rest in peace’ (for Pelé). One day it will happen, but it is not today,” Arthur Arantes do Nascimento said. “He is going to be well, it is a matter of time. He will see Brazil lift the sixth title.”

Pelé helped Brazil win the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cups and remains the team’s all-time leading scorer with 77 goals in 92 matches.

___

AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Tottenham's Harry Kane greets supporters after the English Premier League soccer match between Fulh...
Associated Press

Harry Kane has records in sight, but trophies elude him

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Harry Kane will become Tottenham’s all-time leading scorer with a goal against Manchester City on Sunday. The striker’s wait for a major trophy, however, will go on. Kane is set to surpass the late Jimmy Greaves’ club record of 266 goals, which has stood for 53 years. He is also tied […]
1 day ago
FILE- Gene Sykes claps after City Council voted 12-0 to endorse documents at the heart of its plan ...
Associated Press

USOPC: Russian pathway possible, but sanctions must remain

The new leader of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee reiterated the federation’s support for exploring a way for Russian athletes to compete at the Paris Olympics as neutrals, while insisting the current sanctions against the country remain in place. Gene Sykes, who took over for Susanne Lyons as USOPC chair on Jan. 1, wrote […]
1 day ago
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (26) celebrates his goal during the second period of an NHL...
Associated Press

All-Star festivities showcase next generation of NHL stars

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — New Jersey Devils players watch from the bench often and marvel at some of the things Jack Hughes can do on the ice. “Every game, at least a couple times, I’ll be like, ‘Oh my God, that guy’s amazing,'” forward Michael McLeod said. “He just gets it done every night.” […]
1 day ago
Youth team players warm-up ahead of the Black star water polo competition held at the University of...
Associated Press

Ghana water polo grows as sport looks for more diversity

Back at the very beginning, right when the idea of water polo in Ghana started swimming into reality, Asante Prince got out a couple of balls and caps in front of a handful of curious kids. He decided to try a scrimmage, but he had no nets. So they put a soccer bench on each […]
1 day ago
FILE - Austria's Katharina Liensberger speeds down the course during the first run of an alpine ski...
Associated Press

Austrian ski team aims to rediscover its magic at worlds

VIENNA (AP) — Only one skier in the 24-member Austrian squad for the upcoming world championships has won on the Word Cup circuit this season. A star coach left the women’s team mid-January. And “crisis” has become a common word on the ski-mad nation’s sport pages. Has the once dominating “Wunderteam” from Austria lost its […]
1 day ago
FILE - Workers prepare to remove giant Olympic rings from the waterfront area at Odaiba Marine Park...
Associated Press

Tokyo Olympic bribery scandal rolls on; company apologizes

TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese company embroiled in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic corruption scandal said Thursday it would strengthen oversight to prevent further wrongdoing. Kadokawa “seriously betrayed public trust,” company president Takeshi Natsuno said. He bowed deeply with two other executives to show remorse in a news conference. Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, the son of the founder, […]
1 day ago
Pelé’s family: COVID caused infection, death not imminent