Soccer legend Pele is raising alarm that Africa may not be able to host World Cup if the sophistication the World Cup is attaining is anything to go by. He is afraid.
Having seen the huge facilities here and imagined the billions of money it was costing Korea and Japan to host the World Cup Pele warned that an African country might not be able to host the World Cup. He is stunned by the commercialism.
FIFA, soccer’s world governing body has said that Africa would host the 2010 edition. Pele said in luncheon here that he was doubtful that would happen if the running costs remained sky-high.
He said: « It would be a big discussion. I understand Africa deserves the World Cup. But it is impossible for African nations to host the World Cup.
The host country spends a lot of money to build the stadiums and, after the World Cup they become worthless. I’m against the way it has been so commercialized in terms of costs, » Pele said. He has however applauded the decision to stage the World Cup in Asia, saying that it had succeeded in highlighting soccer in the region.
« I said we needed the World Cup here in Japan 10 years ago, and nobody trusted me. « Now it is done and I think it is a fantastic opportunity to show Asian football to the World. I call it a neutral field. When the World Cup was held in South America, South American teams won, and when it was held in Europe, European teams won. Now everybody’s been surprised by the results of the Asian teams. But I’m not because I knew the level of the game (in Asia) is equal. »