False: FIFA will keep legendary Brazilian footballer Pelé's feet in its museum.

By: Nikita Kochhar
January 2 2023

Share Article: facebook logo twitter logo linkedin logo
False: FIFA will keep legendary Brazilian footballer Pelé's feet in its museum.


The Verdict False

There is no evidence to support the claim that FIFA will display Pelé feet at its museum in Zurich.

Claim ID 33430510



Soon after the death of legendary football player Pelé, a photo claiming that FIFA will display the Brazilian footballer's feet in the FIFA museum started going viral on Facebook. The picture carries an image of a pair of feet next to Pele's photograph. The viral photo also claimed that Pelé's family has given their consent to FIFA—which is the international governing body for association football—for "keeping" the footballer's feet at the FIFA museum. The text in the photo reads: "BREAKING FIFA WILL KEEP PELE'S FEET IN THE MUSEUM. PELE'S FAMILY HAS GIVEN THE PERMISSION."

A Facebook post sharing the viral photo with the caption "OMG RESPECT Pelé Please FIFA" has been liked by more than 20,000 users and was shared by over 2,400 people. The claim has also been shared by several websites, such as footballpost.com, and Opera News, among others. Several people slammed FIFA on social media platforms and called the decision to "keep” Pelé's feet in a museum "berserk." One of the comments on the Facebook post read: "This is outrageous if this is true. Mutilation of corpses is disrespectful. This is just not right. Let him rest in peace with his body intact". However, there is no evidence to support the claim.  

In Fact

The viral photo listed 'TNT_Sports_Brazil' (referring to the Brazilian sports broadcaster TNT Sports) as the source for the claim. However, TNT Sports neither shared any article with the viral claim on its website nor did any of its social media handles make such a claim. We also searched for more information on the claim using relevant keywords but did not come across any news story from a credible media outlet. 

 We also checked FIFA's official website for related information. While the website's landing page paid tribute to Pelé by sharing videos of his greatest moments on the field, obituaries, and personal writeups remembering him, there is no mention of any decision by the football body to display the 82-year-old's feet at the FIFA museum in Zurich, Switzerland. Even FIFA's social media pages make no mention of any such development. 

We also noticed that the viral image bore two watermarks of a Facebook page called 'Sarcasm Football Nepal.' We tracked down the original post on the page and found that it had been shared with the caption, "This is huge." The post, uploaded on December 30, 2022, has raked over 181,000 reactions and 17,000 shares so far. Despite being shared by a portal that identifies as one dedicated to football humor, the claim on Pelé appears to be shared as a fact, even evoking criticism of the supposed development from many social media users in the comments. The post did not share links to any story making a claim from TNT Sports or any other credible news source. 

According to The New York Times (NYT), Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known by his nickname Pelé, died in Sao Paulo on December 29, 2022, after multiple organ failures resulting from colon cancer progression. His death was confirmed by his manager, Joe Fraga. Pelé, who was termed by NYT as the "Global Face of Soccer," rose to stardom at the age of 17 when he scored two goals in the FIFA World Cup final against Sweden in 1958. Touted as the "King of Football" by the likes of French striker Kylian Mbappé, Pelé was also part of the Brazil team that won three World Cup tournaments. In his 21-year-long career, Pelé scored 1,283 goals in 1,367 professional matches, including 77 goals for the Brazil national team.

The Verdict

There is no evidence to back the claim. FIFA has not announced any decision to "keep” Pelé's feet at its museum. Therefore, we mark this claim false.

Would you like to submit a claim to fact-check or contact our editorial team?

Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before