Pele skips public appearance in England, stays home to rest

By MAURICIO SAVARESE

Associated Press

SAO PAULO (AP) Pele has cancelled a trip to England, where the 77-year-old Brazilian was to receive an award from the country's Football Writers Association.

Pele's spokesman said Friday that the cancellation was due to fatigue.

"He didn't travel because it was going to be to exhausting to go and come back shortly afterward. That's all it is," spokesman Pepito Fornos told The Associated Press. "He is at his home in Guaruja with his family. Resting and doing physiotherapy."

Fornos said Pele, who has frequently been admitted to hospitals in the last few years for kidney and prostate procedures, decided to stay home after a series of business events in Rio de Janeiro. At one of those, Pele used a walker on stage. On other occasions, he has needed the help of a wheelchair.

Although Pele is still planning to attend this year's World Cup in Russia, Fornos said the Brazil great has reduced his international schedule lately so he can do more physiotherapy to deal with his hip problems.

"Pele used to make two long trips every month, those that put him in a plane for more than 10 hours," Fornos said. "But now we cut that to one. Doctors say he shouldn't travel one time after the other."

On Tuesday, Pele made fun of the walker he used at the opening ceremony of the Rio state championship.

"I decided to come in with this," Pele joked. "God gave me those new boots and I decided to show them."

Updated January 19, 2018

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