The presumptive favorite to light the torch at the Opening Ceremony for the Rio Olympics is unable to do so. Soccer legend Pele said he’s unable to light the torch because of physical issues.
Pele, 75, scored 77 goals in 91 appearances for the Brazilian national team from 1957-71 and won the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cups with the team. His record 541 goals through all competitions is regarded as the world standard.
There also may be an additional factor at play in Pele’s inability to light the torch at the Maracana stadium. Sponsors.
According to Reuters, he told Globo TV earlier in the week that “I have a contract that I am bound to fulfil,” though he would love to light the torch.
There’s no word if the sponsorship trip has been cancelled because of the same health issues that are preventing him from lighting the torch.
Who could take Pele’s place? Fourth Place Medal offered up some alternatives earlier in the week including basketball player, Oscar Schmidt and Ronaldo, another Brazilian soccer legend.
The Brazilian men’s soccer team left the field to a chorus of boos on Thursday after it opened the Olympics with a 0-0 tie against South Africa.