‘Stop the invasion’: Football legend Pele tells Russian President Vladimir Putin | News off the field

SAO PAULO: Brazilians football legend Pellet called on Wednesday to the President of Russia Vladimir Putin to put an end to his army’s invasion of Ukraineas the national team of the war-torn country still harbors hopes of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
“Today Ukraine tries to forget, at least for 90 minutes, the tragedy that still engulfs their country,” wrote Pele in an open letter to Putin, published on Instagram just before the Ukraine men’s soccer team faced Scotland in the World Cup playoff semi-finals.
Ukraine beat Scotland 3-1 and will face Wales on Sunday to decide who will be the final member of Group B – along with England, the US and Iran.
“I want to use today’s match as an opportunity to make a claim: stop the invasion. There is absolutely no justification for this continuation of violence,” said the three-time World Champion. Cup added.
“This conflict is evil, illegitimate and brings nothing but pain, fear, terror and anguish… Wars exist only to divide nations, and have no intention. What ideology justifies launching rockets that bury children’s dreams, destroy families, and kill innocent people.”

Pele recalled meeting Putin in the past and exchanging “smiles with a long handshake”.
“The power to stop this conflict is in your hands,” he wrote. “So did the people I captured in Moscow, during our last meeting in 2017.”
Considered by many to be the greatest player of all time, Pele enjoyed one of the oldest sports careers, scoring more than 1,000 goals before retiring in 1977.
Recently, his health has been very poor, having to undergo surgery last September for a colon tumor, followed by ongoing chemotherapy.
His message came as the Ukraine conflict nears its 100th day, with fierce fighting raging in the east of the country, after Russian troops failed in their attempt to break through Kyiv.

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