Pele ‘worried’ over WC


With just 23 days to go until the start of the world showpiece, the host country has been plagued by numerous problems, including construction delays, claims of corruption and widespread public anger against the staging of the tournament in Brazil.

"The political situation is difficult," Pele told German publication Sport Bild. "The situation worries me.

“There has been sufficient time to bring the stadiums to completion. It's unacceptable. It is a disgrace."

Pele said the widespread anger by many Brazilian citizens is understandable, but condoned their violent actions.

"People should have demonstrated when Brazil was chosen to organise the World Cup, and not now that the World Cup is very soon," he said.

"The protests against the corruption at the construction sites are understandable; violence is not," he said. "I blame the evil people who have stolen all the money."

When asked if the protests have put the world showpiece in jeopardy, the 73-year-old replied, "Yes, because I know that 25 percent of foreigners have already cancelled their trip to the country."

However, the three-time World Cup winner hopes that the off-the-field problems will soon be resolved, and is looking forward to a successful Mundial.

"It will be a festival of football," he said.