Edinho (left) and his father Pele
Just days before hosting the World Cup, Brazil was hit by a football scandal. On Friday, legendary Pele’s son has been sentenced to 33 years of imprisonment for laundering money gained from drug trafficking.
Four other persons have received similar sentences in the case for same offense.
Edinho, 43, whose real name is Edson Cholbi do Nascimento, is Pele’s third son from the first marriage. Much to the surprise of his father, whom he said he “idolized,” Edinho decided to pursue a career in professional football. In 1995, he reached Brazilian league final as a goalkeeper for his father’s former team Santos, only to lose the title to Botafogo. Most recently, he served as a goalkeeping coach for Santos.
In 2005-2006, Edinho had already served jail time for drug trafficking. Although he then admitted to being a drug addict, he, however, denied trafficking charges. At the time, Pele often visited him in jail and said there was no evidence against his son.
Pele, now 73, or Edson Arantes do Nascimento, is widely regarded as the best footballer of all time, helped Brazil win the World Cup three times in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
Brazil is hosting this year’s World Cup from June 12 till July 13.