Pele will join Friday's
clear-the-air meeting between FIFA president Sepp Blatter
and Brazil President Dilma Rousseff, football's world governing
body said on Wednesday.
Blatter will travel to Brasilia to try to patch up
differences after FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke
infuriated the Brazilians by saying organisers needed "a kick up
the backside" over slow preparations.
"I am very pleased that the legendary Pele will join us for
this important meeting", said Blatter in a statement
"We will discuss the status of preparations and what needs
to be done over the next few months to achieve the common goal
of FIFA and the Brazilian government to stage a great FIFA
Confederations Cup in June 2013 and a successful 2014 FIFA World
The announcement came two days after Ricardo Teixeira quit
as president of the Brazilian Football Confederation and head of
the local organising committee.
Pele had a frosty relationship with Teixeira, who failed to
invite the great former Brazil striker to the draw for the World
Cup qualifying competition in Rio de Janeiro last year.
However, Rousseff then appointed Pele as the country's
official World Cup ambassador.
The animosity between Pele, widely regarded as the best ever
footballer, and Teixeira has its roots in the early 1990s when
Pele was critical of Teixeira's then father-in-law Joao
Havelange, president of FIFA at the time.
Havelange snubbed Pele by not inviting him when the draw for
the 1994 World Cup finals was made in Las Vegas in late 1993.
Brazil is struggling to prepare for the World Cup. Stadium
construction was slow to get started and costs have ballooned.
More worryingly, vital infrastructure projects such as hotels,
roads and airports are way behind schedule.
However, Valcke's remarks caused uproar in Brazil, prompting
the government to notify FIFA it would no longer accept the
Frenchman as the world football governing body's point person for
the 2014 World Cup.
Barcelona's golden boy grabs the headlines again
It's Larsson Jr stealing the show these days
England striker puts pen to paper on permanent deal
The new season is but six weeks away (in the Football League)
Who would you rather have playing for your club?
12 months out, the stars look to the World Cup
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Adidas Nitrocharge for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010