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Pele Will Not Take Part in World Cup Draw, Will be in Audience

FILE - Brazilian soccer legend Pele waves to the crowd during a pregame ceremony before an NASL soccer game.
Pele will not be taking part in Friday's World Cup draw, although he will be in the audience he said on Wednesday, adding that he was worried about Brazil landing in a difficult group.

“President Dilma [Rousseff] suggested that I represent Brazil when it came to pulling the balls out of the pots, which I've done several times before,” Brazilian media quoted the former great Brazil striker as saying at an event in Sao Paulo.

“I preferred to turn down the offer because I wouldn't feel comfortable in picking out balls which are not favourable to Brazil,” explained Pele.

Pele has earned a reputation in Brazil as a “pe-frio”, which translated literally as “cold foot”, although he gave a sarcastic response to a reporter who asked him about it.

“I won five world titles, two with Santos and three with the national team and I scored more than one thousand goals, so you're right, I'm a cold foot,” he said.

“I will be there, God willing,” Pele added. “I will give interviews, accompany the delegations from abroad and do what is necessary, representing President Dilma.”

Draw organizers said on Monday that Pele would make an appearance in some shape or form, adding that he would provide the “wow factor.”