Pele will not light Olympic flame

2016-08-05 23:04
Pele (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Brazilian football legend Pele will not light up the cauldron at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games opening ceremony on Saturday morning (01:00 SA time).

According to AP, the soccer great says ill health prevents him from attending the opening ceremony of Rio Olympics.

"I'm not in physical condition to take part in the opening ceremony," said Pele.

The 75-year-old was rumoured to be invited to light the cauldron by International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and Rio 2016 organising committee chairperson Carlos Arthur Nuzman.

The three-time World Cup winner would join other notable sporting greats to light the cauldron, namely Muhammad Ali, Antonio Rebollo and Cathy Freeman.

The retired striker has been suffering from muscle pains and had hip surgery earlier this year.

Pele's spokesperson Pepito Fornos told the BBC: "He is walking with a cane. The problem is that if he sits in a chair you need a winch to get him out of it.

"His doctor thought it best that he continues physiotherapy, that he rests and we hope that he will be able to appear at the (Olympic) closing ceremony."

The closing ceremony will take place on Monday, 22 August at 01:00 SA time.

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