Pele conspicuous by his absence at World cup decision

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Rio De Janeiro, Oct 31: Pele was absent as Brazil were awarded the 2014 World Cup by FIFA today, once again highlighting his frosty relationship with the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF).

CBF president Ricardo Teixeira dismissed the absence of the Brazil great who for most people symbolises football in the South American country.

Instead, Teixeira included former World Cup striker Romario and national team coach Dunga, captain of the victorious 1994 team, in the huge Brazilian delegation.

''I don't know where he is but we invited two players here that represent the great generation of players during my presidency,'' Teixeira told reporters in Zurich.

The rift between Pele and Teixeira first became public in 1993 when Pele was snubbed by FIFA, who refused to invite him to take part in the 1994 World Cup draw, held in Las Vegas.

This followed a bitter attack by Pele on Teixeira, whose father-in-law Joao Havelange was FIFA president at the time.

It re-surfaced when Pele refused to back Brazil's bid for the 2006 World Cup, dealing the candidacy, which was withdrawn days before the final vote in Zurich, a fatal blow.

Six years ago, Pele said he had declared peace with Teixeira although the pair have never appeared very close.

There was talk earlier this year that Pele could join Brazil's organising committee but the move did not materialise.


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