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)

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.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

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