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26 Feb 2017

Pele's son surrenders to a 13 year-long jail term

Football legend Pele's son sentenced to jail

Edson 'Edinho' Cholbi do Nascimento, the son of football legend Pele, turned himself in to Brazilian police after being sentenced to 13 years in prison by a Brazilian court.

The 46 year-old former goalkeeper had been charged with drug trafficking and money laundering, and had avoided serving time due to a lengthy appeals process.

In context

Football legend Pele's son sentenced to jail

Edinho denies the charges

"I am very frustrated because I am being accused of money laundering, and I never did that," said Edinho in a statement. He also said that his only contact with drug traffickers was as a drug user.

The court's verdict


The court's verdict

Edinho was first detained by the police in 2005 after a crackdown on a drug trafficking gang.

On Thursday, the Brazilian court upheld the 2014 sentence against Edinho, but reduced jail time from 33 years to 12 years and 10 months.

The court, however, said Edinho would have to be imprisoned during the appeals process.

Four other people were also sentenced.

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Edino says "friendship" got him into trouble

"The argument is about my friendship with the other accused. I never denied that, but I never laundered money," explained Edinho.


A bit about Edinho

One of Pele's seven children, Edinho grew up in New York when Pele was playing for New York Cosmos.

He later moved back to Brazil to pursue professional goalkeeping, and played for Pele's former club Santos in the 1990s.

After his football career, he had been working as a manager of a small time football club in Sao Paulo.

Pele defends his son

"God willing, justice will be done. There is not a shred of evidence against my son," said Pele in 2006 when Edinho was imprisoned for six months. Pele is 76 now.

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