Pele attacks Brazil World Cup bid

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The Independent Online

PELE LAST NIGHT dealt a major blow to Brazil's chances of staging the 2006 World Cup when he described his country's football federation as too amateur to host world football's showpiece event.

PELE LAST NIGHT dealt a major blow to Brazil's chances of staging the 2006 World Cup when he described his country's football federation as too amateur to host world football's showpiece event.

"I am not against the World Cup finals in Brazil. I'm against the committee," he said during a visit to the Gulf to promote his link to a World Cup sponsor.

In addition to South Africa and Brazil, the other bidding nations are Germany, Morocco and England. A final decision on the 2006 host will be made by the 24-member executive committee in July 2000.

Previously, in August, the man regarded by many as the best footballer ever had said that rather than bidding for the World Cup, Brazilian money would have been better spent on social programmes.

And yesterday he dug the knife in further, saying: "The only problem with Brazil [in football] is the administration. It is amateur... Brazil on the pitch are the best team in the world, no doubt. Off the pitch, the administration is terrible."

He reiterated his reluctance to become involved in football administration by saying that coaching and management jobs were for "crazy people".

"I never want to be the president of [world football's governing body] Fifa, or the Brazil Football Federation."

Pele voiced concern that too much football was being played for commercial reasons, not for the development of the game, and added that the world football calendar needed to be unified to prevent exhaustion and injuries to players.

When asked about modifications he would like to see made to the modern game, he advocated giving the players the choice between throwing and kicking the ball back into play after it had gone out.

He did not believe, however, that goals should be made bigger. "If you want to score more goals, practice more," he said.

Speaking about his son's conviction on murder charges last week for taking part in a street car race which resulted in the death of a passing motorcyclist, Pele claimed his son was trying to help the injured man.

"He tried to save the man but he died in his hands. The verdict will be appealed," he said.

Edson Cholbi do Nascimento, 29, received a six-year sentence to be served under a work release program, which means he will reside at the prison except to leave for work.

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