Brazilian football legend Pele turned down the opportunity to help with the 2014 World Cup draw on Friday for fear of handing his country a tough draw.
Expectations are running high. With any sign of a negative draw likely to bring disappointment, Pele has decided to stay well clear.
“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. I preferred to turn down the offer because I wouldn’t feel comfortable in picking out balls which are not favourable to Brazil,” Pele said..
The World Cup draw will mark the next stage in the build up to next year’s greatly anticipated tournament, with group stage opponents set to be decided and potential routes to the final mapped out. For Brazil, in particular, that will be the thinking. Anything less than a title will be a major disappointment, while failure to reach the final will be treated as a disaster.