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Montevideo, April 22nd 2019 - 06:29 UTC

Pele admits tourists are cancelling trips to Brazil because of protests and delays

Tuesday, May 20th 2014 - 08:07 UTC
Full article 13 comments
A shame: in 2007 Brazil won the right to have the World Cup, and now one month before the Cup, stadiums there are not yet finished, said Pele A shame: in 2007 Brazil won the right to have the World Cup, and now one month before the Cup, stadiums there are not yet finished, said Pele

Protests in Brazil and delays in building stadiums are putting the World Cup next month at risk and prompting tourists to stay away, soccer great Pele said on Monday. Brazil's tournament organizers have faced headwinds since the country was tapped to host the World Cup in 2007.

 Hundreds of thousands of Brazilian protesters took to the streets during the Confederations Cup last year over the high cost of the sporting extravaganza, as well as against taxes, inflation, corruption and poor public services.

Pele, a triple World Cup winner and special advisor of the World Cup organizing committee, was in Mexico City giving a news conference when he was asked if the protests in Brazil could jeopardize the tournament.

“Yes, because I know that 25 percent of foreigners have already cancelled their trip to the country,” he said.

Many fear protests will continue during the tournament from June 12 to July 13, after demonstrators angered by the cost of the event burned tires last week near the 450 million dollars Sao Paulo Corinthians Arena, the stadium where the tournament will open.

“That's one of the problems I pointed out six years ago. We knew that Brazil won the right to have the World Cup, and now one month before the Cup, stadiums there are not yet finished and have many problems, and that's a shame,” Pele said.

The timing for the protests was not helping, he added.

“People should have demonstrated when Brazil was chosen to organize the World Cup, and not now that the World Cup is very soon,” the 73-year-old said.

“No one was thinking that Brazil has three important events - the Confederations Cup, World Cup, and Olympics - to show off the country, to bring foreign exchange and tourism.”

Top Comments

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  • ElaineB

    Wise words from Pele.

    We hear the constant cry from individuals on here that they don't need foreigners and to stay away. As Pele says, they were hoping the tournaments would attract foreign money, investment and tourism. They need it. They needed to showcase the country and they are failing miserably. 25% cancellations is high.

    That said, when the tournament starts I think the focus will be on the games and the unfinished stadia, muggings and protests will be confined to the news bulletins.

    May 20th, 2014 - 09:13 am 0
  • Conqueror

    Don't forget people, don't fight, argue or object. Just give them all you have. Official advice from the Brazilian government for attending the World Cup. Also, get down on your knees, bend over and suck whilst getting shafted. Who else wants to go to Brazil?

    May 20th, 2014 - 10:35 am 0
  • GeoffWard2

    'Who else wants to go to Brazil?' Conq.

    Me. Back to Salvador with all my old friends. We take care and avoid risk as much as possible. I planned to enjoy the game and then head for Villas do Atlantico for fun times on the beach. I'm going to miss both the spectacle and my friends ... but I will be watching from the Canaries.

    May 20th, 2014 - 12:44 pm 0
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