Football: Pele is resting, not suffering exhaustion, says spokesman

Pele uses a walking frame to stand on stage during the opening event of the 2018 Carioca Football Championship at Cidade das Artes in Rio de Janeiro on Jan 15. PHOTO: AFP

SAO PAULO (REUTERS) - Brazilian soccer great Pele is resting at home in and reports that he was taken to hospital because of exhaustion are "fake news", his spokesman told Reuters on Friday (Jan 19).

Pele was supposed to attend a dinner in his honour at the Savoy hotel in London on Sunday but organisers the Football Writers Association said he would not appear after having collapsed from what appeared to be severe exhaustion.

However, his spokesman told Reuters the 77-year-old former Santos and New York Cosmos striker was resting at his home near Santos, Brazil.

"He just didn't want to make a long and stressful trip to London, in and out of who knows how many planes and airports," said Jose Fornos Rodrigues. "That's all."

Pele, the only player to win three World Cups, has been taken to hospital for kidney and prostrate problems in recent years and also underwent hip surgery.

Still considered the greatest player of all time, he appeared in a wheelchair at his last big international appearance in Moscow in December for the draw for this year's World Cup.

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