Brazil Icon Rivaldo Tells Tourists To Stay Away From Rio Olympics

The World Cup winner has warned people off attending Rio 2016, citing crime, a struggling health service and political turmoil as reasons to avoid the event.

by UK Sports Staff
May 10 2016, 1:56pm

EPA Images/M. Perez

Brazil icon Rivaldo has warned tourists to stay away from the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, expressing fears about crime, a struggling health service and the political turmoil surrounding the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff.

Rivaldo – himself an Olympic bronze medallist – was one of a golden generation of Brazilian footballers. He won the World Cup with the Seleção in 2002, and is an influential voice in Brazilian sport.

He has now taken to Instagram in an attempt to deter people from attending Rio 2016, referencing the case of a 17-year-old girl killed in a shootout over the weekend as an indicator of the country's crime epidemic.

He has said: "Things are getting uglier in Brazil. I advise everyone who intends to visit Brazil or come to the Olympics in Rio to remain at home. Your life will be in danger here, not to mention the crisis in our hospitals and all this mess in Brazilian politics. Only God can change our situation in Brazil."

The Rio Olympics is set to begin in just under three months, though many are worried that the city isn't ready for the games. Meanwhile, violent crime and police crackdowns seem to be on the rise.

Set to the backdrop of the Zika virus, water pollution and the political crisis that has enveloped the country in recent months, the build up to Rio 2016 has been plagued with external problems. Attendances could be affected accordingly, with ticket sales currently lukewarm at best.