COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil (AP) — Organizers of the 2014 World Cup say football great Pele will make an appearance at Friday's draw in Brazil but his role is being kept a secret.
It hadn't been clear whether Pele would be participating in the event that will determine the schedule for next year's tournament, but organizers confirmed Monday he will be part of the show broadcast to about 250 million viewers in more than 190 countries.
"He will be the 'wow' moment of the show," said Luiz Gleiser, the event's artistic manager.
Head of FIFA Films David Ausseil said Pele "will come to the stage" at some point but his participation in the ceremony won't be revealed in advance.
"We will keep that as the surprise on Friday," Ausseil said.
Pele is a World Cup ambassador for the Brazilian government, but he was not involved in the Confederations Cup draw a year ago and surprisingly didn't appear at the opening match of the World Cup warm-up tournament. He has made only a few appearances promoting the World Cup, the first in Brazil since 1950.
It is already certain that Pele will not be drawing the balls that determine the group placings, a task handed to past world champions Cafu of Brazil, Zinedine Zidane of France, Lothar Matthaeus of Germany, Fernando Hierro of Spain, Fabio Cannavaro of Italy, Alcides Ghiggia or Uruguay, Geoff Hurst of England and Mario Kempes of Argentina.