The All India Football Federation on Friday announced seven-day mourning to remember the life and achievements of Brazilian football legend Pele, who passed away on Thursday.
Indian football federation secretary general Shaji Prabhakaran said, “We are deeply saddened by the demise of footballing great Pele, and to remember his achievements, we will observe a seven-day mourning. In this period, the AIFF flag will fly at half-mast.”
India’s connection with the King of the footballing world runs deep; Pele has visited the subcontinent more than once, the first of which was the fabled visit in 1977, when Cosmos played out a 2-2 draw
against Mohun Bagan at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata (then Calcutta).
“India is blessed that Pele has visited us on so many occasions, the last time being in 2018. We all remain grateful to him for these visits,” said Dr Prabhakaran.
“He always wanted Indian Football to develop and grow and have a bright future. He was someone who had inspired like nobody else in the sport,” he said.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee also condoled the demise of three times World Cup winner Pele.
” Pele, through his legendary performances & achievements, inspired countless people across the world. The news of his demise reminds me of our memorable meeting in 2015. My prayers & thoughts are with his family, friends & fans in these difficult times. May his soul rest in peace,” Banerjee said.
Leader of the opposition Suvendu Adhikari expressed his sadness at the death of football legend. ” The Original Greatest Of All Time (G.O.A.T.); Football Legend Pelé, is no more.
The three-time Brazilian World Cup Winner has left the mortal world for his Heavenly Abode. Legends never die. They live in our hearts forever. RIP Legend,” Adhikari said.