Akwa Ibom Demands $300,000 Refund From Brazilian Legend, Pele


Akwa Ibom State Government has demanded a $300,000 (more than N135 million) refund from Brazilian football legend, Edson Arantes do Nascimento (a.k.a Pele).

The $300,000 is the appearance fee paid to him to grace the opening of the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo two years ago for which Pele failed to honour the invitation.

Pele did not grace the occasion even after his agents received the payment because there was a shift in dates for the opening of the multi-million dollar sporting edifice nicknamed ‘The Nest of Champions’.


See Also: World’s Fastest Man Usain Bolt To Begin Training With Borussia Dortmund

Akwa Ibom state Government has since been demanding that the appearance fee be refunded and so far their efforts have proved futile.

Even though some experts in the business have advised the state government to angle for a part of the sum, the Akwa Ibom Government wants all the $300,000 cash back.

In defence, Pele’s agents have continued to insist they were not the ones who breached the agreement and so they could not be liable.

They claim that by the time a new date for the opening of the stadium was fixed, their client was committed to another engagement.

In November 7, 2014, the 30,000-capacity stadium was opened by then Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan with King of Football Pele billed to appear at the elaborate event. The stadium at the weekend played host to Nigeria’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Algeria.

Many years after he retired from the game, three-time world champion Pele has cashed in on his charisma to rake in millions of dollars through special guest appearances around the globe.

Also Read: Why Pep Guardiola Gave His Players A Sex Curfew

In August, Pele was reported to be guest of the organisers of the Winihin Jemide Series and Youth Experience Days Africa. But it this was put off due to ill health of the soccer legend.