Maracana Pele statue won't grace World Cup

The 300-kilogram (660-pound) bronze statue honouring Pele will not be unveiled during the FIFA World Cup next month. The artist - renowned Brazilian sculptor Ique - feels the project has been "politically disbanded".

updated: May 23, 2014 14:52 IST
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Rio de Janeiro: A life-size statue of football legend Pele commissioned for the stadium hosting the World Cup final in Brazil will not be installed in time for the tournament, the artist said on Thursday.

The piece by renowned Brazilian sculptor Ique was originally due to be installed inside Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium last year -- a deadline that was pushed back to this year and now appears to have been put on hold indefinitely, the artist said. (Also read: Pele fears unrest in Brazil will take its toll on World Cup tourists)

"Pele had just had hip surgery so the inauguration was pushed back from December 2013 to March 2014. Then in March the state secretary for sport who commissioned the project (Marcia Lins) left her job. Since then, I haven't heard anything," said Ique, whose given name is Victor Henrique Woitschach.

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