Pele Encourages Brazilian Soccer Players to Strike

From ESPN Soccernet.com - Pele has suggested that Brazilian footballers should go on strike to protest against late payment of wages and that the country is not ready to host the 2014 World Cup Brazilian media reported Thursday.

'The players don't know how much power they've got' he was quoted as saying. 'If they go on strike for three or four weeks and there's no football on the television it will be chaos.'

'They are not united' he added. 'In other professions there are protests for wage increases and against delays in the payment of salaries.

'But some players don't get paid for three or four months and nothing happens.'

His comments were published one day after players at Flamengo which claims to be Brazil's best-supported club refused to spend a night before a game in a hotel in protest at late payment of their wages.

The players said they had not received any wages for two months and no image rights for four months.

Pele was also sceptical about Brazil's chances of hosting the 2014 World Cup.

'Today the only stadium which is good enough to hold a game is Atletico Paranaense's' he said referring to the Arena da Baixada stadium in Curitiba.

'None of the others meet FIFA standards.'

'Here people can't even use the toilets because they're revolting.'

South America is due to host the 2014 World Cup under FIFA's rotation system and last year the continent's 10 national football federations voted unanimously to back Brazil as their only candidate.