29 December 2022 – The South African Football Association (SAFA) has joined the world in mourning the passing of Brazil football legend Pele.
The 82-year-old passed away on Thursday, 29 December 2022 after a long battle with cancer and SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan said the world has lost one of the greats.
“We are saddened by the passing of this icon,” the SAFA President told www.safa.net.
“He was a supporter of African progress in football and supported the FIFA World Cup in South Africa in 2010. Years ago he predicted that an African nation would win the FIFA World Cup before the year 2000 and while it is yet to happen, the performances of the African teams at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar must have put a smile on his face.”
Morocco became the first country from Africa to qualify for the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup and the North Africans eventually exited the global showpiece following a 2-0 defeat to France in the last four in Qatar on 14 December 2022.
Dr Jordaan said the Brazilian icon is the only player to win the FIFA World Cup three times after lifting the title in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
“He was here in South Africa during the FIFA World Cup in 2010 and supported us. We remember him not only as the greater footballer he was, but also as a great ambassador of the sport. We extend our deepest sympathies to his entire family, friends, Brazil and the football family around the globe. May Pele’s soul rest in peace.”