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Pelé asks Putin to stop the war in Ukraine in an Instagram post


Brazilian football legend Pelé asked Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday (June 1st) to “stop the invasion” of Ukraine, in a letter posted on Instagram.

“I want to use today’s match as an opportunity to make a request: stop the invasion. There is absolutely nothing that justifies such violence,” ‘King’ Pele wrote in the letter to Mr Putin.

“Today, Ukrainians try to forget, at least for 90 minutes, the tragedy that still affects their country. Trying to qualify for a World Cup is already an arduous task. It is almost impossible with so many lives at stake,” added Pele, who is undergoing chemotherapy for a colon tumor detected in September.

“I have lived eight decades, during which I have seen wars and hate speeches by leaders in the name of the security of their people. We cannot go back to this time, we must evolve”, insisted Pelé, 81, for whom the conflict in Ukraine is “perverse” and “unjustifiable”.

The triple world champion recalled that he had met President Putin in 2017, a year before the World Cup in Russia: “we exchanged big smiles, we shook hands for a long time”.

“The power to stop this conflict is in your hands. The same hands I shook in 2017,” he concluded. Earlier Wednesday, Pele posted a photo of himself smiling while sitting in a wheelchair holding up a trophy alongside family members.

“As always, I celebrate the small victories,” he wrote in the caption. On his Instagram account, he regularly publishes old photos of his moments of glory, but few recent images. The last dated back to April 22.

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