Football legend Pele forced to pull out of Rio opening ceremony due to ill-health
Published 05/08/2016 | 18:17
Pele has said his poor health will prevent him from participating in the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics.
In a statement, the football superstar said: "I'm not physically able to attend the opening of the Olympics."
The opening ceremony in the Maracana stadium will need to fill a void without Brazil's most famous athlete.
He had hip surgery several years ago and often walks with the help of a cane.
In his statement, Pele said: "Only God is more important than my health. In my life, I've had fractures, surgeries, pain, hospital stays, victories and defeats. And I've always respected those who admire me."
He said it was "my own decision", and apologised for disappointing Brazilians, adding: "As a Brazilian, I ask God to bless all who participate in this event."
He signed the statement "Edson Arantes do Nascimento - Pele".