Premier League and English Football League clubs are set to wear black armbands and hold a minute’s applause to honour Brazil football legend Pele.

The three-time World Cup winner passed away on Thursday at the age of 82.

Tributes have poured in from across the world and Brazil has declared three days of national mourning.

The Premier League’s next round begins with two matches on Friday and concludes on Sunday, with all 10 games paying tribute.

The EFL said it would hold a minute’s applause before EFL fixtures on Friday and on 1 and 2 January, while players will wear black armbands “in memory of the life of Pele”.

Football’s world governing body Fifa has lowered flags at its headquarters in Switzerland to half-mast for Pele “as a symbol of mourning and respect”.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) says it has “arranged a minute’s silence to remember Pele,” in forthcoming games.

Managers have also paid respect, with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola saying Pele made football “a better place” for his ability to give people an emotional connection to the sport.

“There’s not another show or event that can produce this type of emotion. It’s part of what these exceptional players do,” Guardiola explained.

“Football is football thanks to these types of people, players, human beings. Before, the number 10 was just a number and after him it became something special. Every top player wanted to wear number 10 in their team.

“What he has done for football is there and always will remain.”

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe hailed the Brazil great as an “absolute giant” of football.

Howe added, before Newcastle’s match against Leeds on Saturday: “In my era, you grew up knowing of Pele, thinking of him as the best player the world had ever seen at that moment.

“It’s very, very sad. Whenever an icon passes away, it’s a very sad moment for football. Seeing the reaction of everybody, media, everyone connected with football, he’s certainly well remembered around the world.”

Everton manager Frank Lampard said: “The reach of his game was huge and has stayed. That name will continue for ever more. It’s a sad day for football.”

Fulham will pay tribute to Pele before their celebrations of the life of club stalwart and 1966 World Cup winner George Cohen.

Cohen died on 23 December and Fulham’s home match against Southampton on Saturday will be their first game at Craven Cottage since his passing.

Source: BBC

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