Despite the quadrennial World Cup kicking off in his home country in less than a month, Brazilian soccer hero Pele took aim at the organizers of the event.
“It’s clear that politically speaking, the money spent to build the stadiums was a lot, and in some cases was more than it should have been,” Pele said, according to NBCSports.com. “Some of the money could have been invested in schools, in hospitals. Brazil needs it. That’s clear. On that point, I agree (with the protests). But I lament what protesters are doing, which is breaking and burning everything. It’s money that we will have to spend again.”
Overall, Brazil has spent approximately $11 billion on the World Cup, including $4 billion on 12 new or refurbished stadiums.
Pele said the preparations of the stadiums and the uncertainty surrounding whether the stadiums would be finished in time is causing a negative impact on the number of tourists who will visit the country, according to NBCSports.
"We already know that 25 percent of foreigners who are going to Brazil (for the World Cup) are worried about this movement (protests), and I think they have even canceled (their trip). So this is a great loss for the country," Pele said.
Recent reports have stated that the stadium hosting the opening game in Sao Paulo will not have a completed roof over the venue until well after the 2014 World Cup is finished.