COSTA DO SAUIPE (Brazil), Dec 3: Organisers of the 2014 World Cup say football icon Pele will make an appearance at Friday’s draw in Brazil but his role is being kept a secret.
It hadn’t been clear whether Pele would be participating in the event that will determine the schedule for next year’s tournament, but organisers confirmed on Monday he will be part of the show broadcast to about 250 million viewers in more than 190 countries.
“He will be the ‘wow’ moment of the show,” said Luiz Gleiser, the event’s artistic manager.
Head of FIFA Films David Ausseil said Pele “will come to the stage” at some point but his participation in the ceremony won’t be revealed in advance. “We will keep that as the surprise on Friday,” Ausseil said.
Pele is a World Cup ambassador for the Brazilian government, but he was not involved in the Confederations Cup draw a year ago and surprisingly didn’t appear at the opening match of the World Cup warm-up tournament. He has made only a few appearances promoting the World Cup, the first in Brazil since 1950.
It is already certain that Pele will not be drawing the balls that determine the group placings.
Nearly 1,500 guests are expected to attend the event, along with about 2,000 journalists.—AP