'Stop the pain, fear & terror' - Pele sends impassioned plea to Vladimir Putin urging him to end 'wicked' Ukraine conflict

Ukraine Russia conflict Vladimir Putin Pele
Getty & Instagram.com/Pele
As the conflict rages on, one of football's greats has pleaded with the Russian leader to end the bloodshed

Brazil legend Pele has called for Vladimir Putin to end Russia's bloody invasion of Ukraine.

The latter beat Scotland on Wednesday to bring themselves one step away from a spot in the 2022 World Cup, but thoughts immediately turned back to those fighting on the front lines following the final whistle.

And Pele, widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, used his platform to implore the Russian president – whom he has met before – to put an end to the suffering ahead of the match.

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What did Pele say to Putin?

Posting on social media, Pele said: “Vladimir Putin.

“Today Ukraine tries to forget, at least for 90 minutes, the tragedy that still engulfs their country. To compete for a place in the World Cup is already a difficult task – almost an impossible one now with so many lives at stake.

“I want to use today's match as an opportunity to make a request: stop the invasion. There is absolutely no justification for this continued violence.

Pele Ukraine Russia conflict quote

“This conflict is wicked, unjustifiable and brings nothing but pain, fear, terror and anguish. There's no reason for it to last any longer.

“When we met in the past and exchanged smiles accompanied by a long handshake, I never thought one day we would be as divided as we are right now.

“Wars only exist to separate nations and there's no ideology that justifies projectile missiles burying the dreams of children, ruining families and killing the innocent.

“I've lived through eight decades, in which I've seen wars and have seen and heard the hate speech, promoting atrocities in the name of their nation's security by spineless leaders. We must stop this and evolve.

“A long time ago I promised myself that I would always raise my voice for peace. The power to stop this conflict is in your hands. The same ones I shook in Moscow, at our last meeting in 2017.

“Pele.”

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