Pele juggles schedule to light Olympic flame

2016-08-03 21:16
2016 Rio Olympics (File)

Rio de Janeiro - Brazilian football legend Pele said on Wednesday he hoped to light the Olympic flame at Friday's opening ceremony in Rio but must first see if he can cancel prior sponsorship engagements.

Pele told television channel Globo that he had been invited "personally" to light the flame by the head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach.

"I have contracts and I am supposed to be traveling. If I manage to cancel the commitments I have, I would like to have the honor of doing it," the 75-year-old said in comments broadcast on Tuesday.

"I cannot yet confirm whether I will be here to light the flame."

Pele's image rights are managed by US company Legends 10, which handles his appearances and publicity contracts.

"I have a contract with Legends 10 and two events that were already scheduled for that same day," he said.

"On Wednesday we will have a meeting to try to free me from them."

Pele -- real name Edson Arantes do Nascimento - is widely regarded as the greatest footballer of all time.

The striker won three world cups with Brazil but never competed at the Olympics.

He has undergone several hip operations and walks with a cane.

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