Brazil's legendary footballer Pele was hospitalised after he collapsed with exhaustion on Friday. The 77-year-old was scheduled to visit London this weekend for a dinner to be held in his honour by the Football Writers Association (FWA) but he had to cancel the trip.
"In the early hours of Thursday morning, Pele collapsed and was taken to hospital in Brazil where he has undergone a series of tests which appear to point to severe exhaustion. He remains on fluids while doctors monitor his recovery," the Football Writers Association (FWA) confirmed in an official statement.
The association further notified that there is no suggestion of anything more serious than exhaustion. "He is on fluids while doctors monitor his recovery. Thankfully there is no suggestion of anything more serious."
Pele has been stricken by a series of health ailments in recent years, including kidney and prostate problems.
In a celebrated 21-year career, Pele scored 1,281 goals in 1,363 matches and won three World Cups, the only player to achieve the feat.
Widely regarded as the greatest football player of all time, he was part of three winning FIFA World Cups teams: 1958, 1962 and 1970.
"He didn't travel because it was going to be to exhausting to go and come back shortly afterward. That's all it is," Pele's 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."
(With agencies inputs)