Washington, 03 Dzulqa’dah 1437/06 August 2016 (MINA) – Brazilian football legend said on Friday he was “not physically able” to light the Olympic torch at the games’ opening in Rio as was scheduled later on Friday.
“At this point I’m not physically able to attend the opening of the Olympics,” Pele said in a statement released by Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paolo.
Meanwhile, his spokesperson Jose Rodrigues Forno told the paper that the 75-year-old footballing legend “cannot get up and down stairs” and has muscle pain and difficulty with mobility.
Brazilian five-time Olympic sailing gold medalist Torben Grael and tennis champion Gustavo Kuerten are expected to fill in for the torch lighting ceremony, according to Folha.
Meanwhile, WAM reported from New York that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is to take part in the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a UN spokesman has said.
Stephane Dujarric, speaking to reporters, said that the opening ceremony will be held on Friday and Ban will participate in a relay during which the Olympic Torch is handed over.
According to Dujarric, Ban will visit the athletes’ village to meet and encourage the participants, including the first-ever team of Refugee Olympic Athletes consisting of two refugees from Syria, five from South Sudan, two from the Congo and one from Ethiopia. (T/R07/R01)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)