22 May 2014

Pele criticises Brazil's World Cup preparations

6:57 am on 22 May 2014

The Brazil football legend Pele criticised his country's organisation of the World Cup, saying billions of dollars have been spent unwisely.

Pele says he sides with those protesting against the big spending, but also laments any violence.

Brazil is spending about $13 billion overall on the World Cup, and $5 billion alone on 12 new and refurbished stadiums.

Pele says too much has been spent on the stadium and some of it should have been invested in schools and hospitals.

The 73-year-old, who helped Brazil win three of its five World Cups, criticised the late preparations of stadiums, and says the confusion was likely to keep tourists away.

Pele was particularly critical of the stadium in Sao Paulo, the venue for the opening match between Brazil and Croatia on June 12.

Officials acknowledged last week that a portion of the roof won't be completed until after the World Cup ends on July 13.

Several other stadiums are also still being finished with the World Cup just over three weeks away.