Pele misses funeral of "daughter he never wanted"

Brazilian soccer great Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, did not attend the funeral of his eldest daughter on Tuesday, Sandra Regina Arantes, 42, an illegitimate child he fathered with a cleaner that he long fought against recognizing.

Sandra Regina's long fight for recognition had led her to write a book called The Daughter Pele Never Wanted.

Pele, who Brazilians call The King of Football, sent a wreath expressing the grief of "the Arantes do Nascimento family" to Sandra Regina, who died of cancer on Tuesday, his media team confirmed.

Oseas Firmino, Sandra Regina's husband, told media that Pele had known of Sandra's illness since it was discovered last year, but had never contacted her.

Sandra Regina came to public notice when she launched a lawsuit to force Pele to recognize her. The Soccer King fought in every court to prevent his eldest daughter from getting the same inheritance rights as the three children from his first marriage and the twins from his current marriage to Assira Nascimento.

Sandra Regina added her father's name to her own, only in 1991 after the country's top court, the Supreme Federal Tribunal, finally ruled in her favor.

However, Pele never acknowledged his eldest daughter, nor her two children Octavio, eight and Gabriel, six.

Her funeral took place in the Santos Town Hall, where Sandra Regina Arantes had worked as a municipal councilor for many years.

Source: Xinhua

People's Daily Online ---