Accessibility links

Breaking News

Soccer Great Pele Cancels Appearance in England Because of Fatigue

FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, Brazilian soccer legend Pele, center, and Argentinian soccer legend Diego Armando Maradona attend the 2018 soccer World Cup draw in the Kremlin in Moscow, Dec. 1, 2017.

Brazilian soccer great Pele has canceled a trip to England where he was to receive an award from the English Football Writers' Association.

A spokesman for Pele said the former soccer (football) player was resting at his home in Guaruja, Brazil, and that reports that he had been taken to a hospital were "fake news."

"He said he's not going [to England] because it's going to be very tiring, very stressful," said spokesman Pepito Fornos.

Pele, 77, was supposed to attend a dinner in his honor Sunday at the Savoy Hotel in London, organized by the Football Writers' Association. The group said Pele would not appear after having collapsed from what appeared to be severe exhaustion.

Pele has frequently been admitted to hospitals in the past few years for kidney and prostate problems, and has also undergone hip surgery.

Fornos said Pele had reduced his scheduled appearances recently so he could receive more therapy for his hip issues.

Pele appeared in a wheelchair in Moscow in December for the draw for this year's World Cup. Fornos said Pele was planning to attend the World Cup in Russia.

Pele is the only player to win three World Cups, helping Brazil to win victories in 1958, 1962 and 1970.