New Delhi : FIFA, in solidarity with the family and friends of the late Brazilian football legend Pele, has called upon all competition organisers across the world to hold a minute of silence ahead of every football match this upcoming weekend and the week thereafter. The flags at FIFA headquarters will be flown at half-mast, it said.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF), earlier in the day, had declared a seven-day mourning to remember the life and achievements of the Brazilian legend. The AIFF Secretary General Shaji Prabhakaran said that the AIFF flag would fly at half-mast during this period. FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, in a letter to all Member Associations, said: "On 29 December 2022, the world of football lost its King. Edson Arantes do Nascimento - affectionately known to the football community and to everyone beyond as Pele - was a footballing icon like no other.
"Pele brought the magic of South American football to the world and gave meaning to the phrase 'The Beautiful Game'. He remains the only person in history to have won three FIFA World Cups. His incomparable imagination and skill on the pitch dazzled anyone lucky enough to have witnessed them, all while doing so with a smile on his face and warmth in his heart."
Fatma Samoura said, "For as long as football is played, Pele will be remembered, and he will be missed.
"In solidarity with his family and friends, the Brazilian Football Association, Brazil and all football fans who loved him so dearly, the flags at FIFA headquarters will be flown at half-mast, and FIFA calls upon all competition organisers to hold a minute of silence ahead of every football match this upcoming weekend and the week thereafter," she said.